Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday, February 08, 2013

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Madness 2012

Here is the link

Sunday, January 01, 2012

A new year, a new helmet..

With 2011 drawing to a close, there are a few things that need attending to:
- Making sure any last minute charitable givings are in place for the tax year
- Using up any unused vacation days
- Adjusting your 401k
- Re-enrolling in your benefits
but there is one people often overlook: Using up reward points from your credit card before they expire...

Midway through the year, I realized I had 60,000 points that would expire on December 31st. I used 25,000 points for my wife's birthday, bringing here friend Christine to town. That left me with 35,000 to burn.

With a week left in the year, I couldn't see wasting the points on a toaster, or any of the other options available for 25,000 points when a flight could be had for an equal amount - I had opportunity cost losses..

So the wife and I began looking into vacation idea. We settled on Breckenridge, Colorado. We've never been to Colorado to ski - so lets use the miles to get there. Fortunately I was able to secure 2 non-stop round trip tickets from Columbus to Denver. A little searching on VRBO and we had a condo lined up. A trip to hotwire and a rental car for the week for less than $100..

I then began looking into equipment rental, knowing my skis are ridiculously heavy and not suited for west coast skiing, and Continental/United rape you with their baggage fees..

For $70 round trip, I could bring my skis with me, or for around 120 I could rent for the week from Blue River Sports. When I spoke with the owner, he reminded me I would need to rent a helmet. After a trip to Utah to do a product eval on LANDESK I spent a few days skiing with my buddy Temple (if you ever consider using LanDesk, he's the guy to talk to) I had a fall where my head hit on a rock in the middle of the run.

So for $6/day I could rent a helmet, - $36 bucks. Couldn't I just buy one for that much and stuff it in my suitcase??? This started me on an online search for a helmet but nothing really impressed me.

Then inspiration did.. What is the best helmet in the world? The answer is obvious. If you don't already know you can read about it here, or here.

A quick check ofto MDen and Moe's confirmed my fears. There is not officially licensed ski/snowboard helmet out there...

I decided the best possible use of my last vacation day of 2011 was to make my own helmet. A little research on the internet convinced me that no one really knows whether its safe to paint a ski helmet, but everyone in the world appears to be afraid to do so. What everyone agreed to though - many spray paints will erode the structure of plastics. The first step would have to involve a primer designed for use on plastics.

I needed some inspiration before heading out, so I pulled up a video feature Jon Falk and the winged helmet. If you've never watched it - you should immediately close this window and go watch it. It is far more informative and entertaining than anything I could every tell you about.

I stopped at Aspen Ski and Board (over priced, but the widest selection) long enough to scoff at the $150 price tags. A stop at Dick's disappointed with only 5 models in stock. TJ Maxx had only 1 in my size.

By this time, it was 11 and I knew where I had to go. Play It Again Sports on Sawmill has always had a great selection at great price. (Both new and used - I wouldn't suggest a used helmet).

I found 2 acceptable options in the $50-$60 price range, and walked out with a Rossignol:

A quick trip to the hardware store and I had everything I needed.

The first step was taping off the inner lining. Really, I'd prefer not to have paint on my face.

Then a base coat of primer:

Despite my best efforts, I still ended up with a little seep through..

Now time for adding the layer of maize:

It took another coat to cover a few spots I had missed, but then after it dried it was time for taping. After I realized I didn't have any 1 inch electrical tape (the standard width for the stripes on a Michigan Helmet) I had to run back to the hardware store. Unfortunately they didn't have 1 inch electrical tape either. Instead, the best I could come up with was Frog Tape:

It was time for the taping to begin. This was actually one of the hardest parts of the whole process. I had to decide which winged helmet I wanted. I had long loved the parallel stripes on Desmond Howard's helmet on my cover of Beckett from '92:

But there were plenty of other variations. After a few tries putting the stripes on, I ended with this configuration:

Then came the wings. I decided to follow the method described in the video, and found that electrical tape is far easier to work with than frogtape.

After taping off the rest of the wing, it was time for the coat of blue:

After an hour, the paint was starting to get tacky, so it was time for the reveal:
The finished product:

There was some leakage, so I'm going to have to do some touch up, and then a coat of clear coat to prevent any chipping/scratching.. but I am happy with the end result..

All the pics are here.

Go Blue!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Income taxes in Ohio - the argument for Married Filing Separately

After getting married in May of 2010, this will be my first year filing my income taxes as anything other than single.

In an effort to reduce my tax burden, I evaluated the options of both Married filing Jointly, and Married filing seperately.

Every where I read, from to , the repeated message is that it is rarely in your best interests to file separately.

If you live in Ohio - rethink this.

You can find the tax tables for 2004-2012 here.
For 2010

Ohio Taxable IncomeTax Calculation
0 – $5,0500.618% of Ohio taxable income
$5,050 – $10,100$31.21 + 1.236% of excess of $5,050
$10,100 – $15,150$93.63 + 2.473% of excess over $10,100
$15,150 – $20,200$218.52 + 3.091% of excess over $15,150
$20,200 – $40,350$374.62 + 3.708% of excess over $20,200
$40,350 – $80,700$1,121.78 + 4.327% of excess over $40,350
$80,700 – $100,900$2,867.72 + 4.945% of excess over $80,700
$100,900 – $201,800$3,866.61 + 5.741% of excess over $100,900
More than $201,800$9,659.28 + 6.24% of excess over $201,800

Doing these calculations for a combined income of 80k, 100k, and 160k shows that it is clearly a marriage penalty in Ohio to file Jointly:

MiddleClass , similar salaries
IncomeBase Tax% Liability
Indiv. A400001121.780.043271106.6355
Indiv. B400001121.780.043271106.6355
Couple AB800003866.610.057412666.741<-joint liability453.47<- Extra cost of filing jointly
Upper Middle Class, similar salaries
IncomeBase Tax% Liability
Indiv. C800001121.780.043272837.4355
Indiv. D800001121.780.043272837.4355
Couple CD1600003866.610.057417259.541<-joint liability1584.67<- Extra cost of filing jointly
One spouse making much more than the other
IncomeBase Tax% Liability
Indiv. E800001121.780.043272837.4355
Indiv. F20000218.520.0391408.155
Couple EF1000003866.610.057413814.941<-joint liability569.3505<- Extra cost of filing jointly

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The house that was almost ours ( 6801 s meadow glen westerville, OH )

So we found a home that we thought was a good bargain - 6801 south meadow glen , in Westerville Ohio.

The home was beautiful, and we entered a contract to buy the home. We knew the house was priced to accomodate some work that would need to be put into the house, but we were assured the only work needed was asthetic.

We were very excited until our inspector told us we needed to look at something. Water damage coming through an external wall that had left rot on a joist in the floor, visible from the basement.

There was also a vertical crack in the basement that leaked when a rain storm came through a few days later.

We asked the builder to fix these two issues, and we'd be all set. They told us it would be done, then a week later they counter-offered (their own offer) to offer a $750 credit. The repairs would cost at least $1500, and WAY more if there was mold in behind the wall.

There is no way we would buy a house without knowing where the water had come from, and whether or not it was still an active problem.

I hope the next homebuyers of 6801 meadow glen in westerville ohio know what they are getting into.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bank Of America sucks (in Ohio)

So today one of our interns asked me what I thought would be a simple question. He cashed his paycheck, and wants to deposit it in his Bank Of America account. I looked up an ATM - the closest one was in Dayton. Yes, Dayton - 50 miles away. Certainly a bank as large as BOA has some connection with Jeanie, etc..

Nope - when I called their customer support line they suggested mailing any deposits to your local branch and they could deposit it for you.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Logic and Precedence

So I need a marriage license.

The Delaware county website states:

•A current driver’s license OR valid state ID AND proof of Social Security
number must be shown to the Deputy Clerk.

I took that as it is written, that you need one of the following:
  • a driver's license
  • a valid state ID and proof of social security number

Unfortunately I have run into this lack of understanding so I called to make sure. Why people dont understand that you evaluate an and operator before an or operatore will never make sense to me. You learned to do multiplication before addition, is this that much harder??

Sure enough, you need a social security card and a driver's license or a social secuirty card and a state issued ID.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Down to the final four

Standings of the final four:

Final Four rooting scenarios:

MSU beats butler, WVU beats Duke, MSU wins it all: Bill wins, fred gets 2nd/3rd
MSU beats butler, duke beats WVU, MSU wins it all : Bill wins, geyer 2nd, bill 3rd
MSU beats butler, WVU beats Duke, WVU wins it all : Bill, fred, todd
Butler beats MSU, WVU beats Duke, WVU wins it all: Bill, Fred, Todd
Butler beats MSU, duke beats WVU, Duke wins it all: Will, Bill , Geyer
MSU beats butler, duke beats WVU, Duke wins it all: Will, Bill, Geyer
Butler beats MSU, WVU beats Duke, butler wins it all: Bill wins, fred gets 2nd/3rd
butler beats MSU, duke beats WVU, butler wins it all: Bill wins, geyer 2nd, bill 3rd

Friday, March 26, 2010

Standings as of the elite 8..

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kansas fell, just more proof that President Obama is no smarter than any of the rest of us!!

Charles has taken the lead, but many of the leading contenders had Kansas in the final (one of yours truly's as well)

Heres a little insight as to the potential of each bracket, orange is points accrued, blue is the total points you could possibly earn..

Joe Masucci now leads the pack, clinging to the hope Villanova will be able to earn a victory in the second round without help from the zebras..

Friday, March 19, 2010

At the start of day 2 Bill is dominating, in both first and second place.. 8 people are tied with 12 points.

Its still wide open, although Steve Chandler and Joe Masucci will have a long road ahead, having a final 4 team knocked out on day 1

Thursday, March 18, 2010

OU (sucks) shocks the hoyas and busts a few brackets! Upadated standings have Geyer, Bill, and Ben leading the way..

Score after 5 games: (no one perfect this year!!!)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Well in order to get an inspection or appraisal, then homeowner would be the only one that could let you in. Now in the circumstance of a vacant home, then I’m not sure how you would obtain access. That’s why the sales are buyer beware and buy as is because we can not get you inside the home for an appraisal. And if we could and the inspection came up bad and your bank decided to not lend you the money, then you would be out your deposit. The deposits are non-refundable.
I can not recommend an attorney, but I would definitely look for one that specializes in real estate law and foreclosures. They would be the best to help you.

Subject: RE: Individual purchasing a house
Thank you for the quick response. The whole process is quite intimidating.
Would it be safe to assume my only hope of acquiring a home through a sheriff's auction would be a scenario where the previous homeowner granted me access to the property?
One more question - does the Sheriff's office have any recommendations for attorneys familiar with the sheriff sales process?

"Sheriff Sales"

06/01/2009 02:34 PM

"Sheriff Sales"

RE: Individual purchasing a house

Hi Will!
I will do my best to answer your questions.
1. Typically the balance is due within thirty days of the confirmation being filed, but terms do vary on different properties and you’ll need to check the ad for full terms in the Delaware Gazette to make sure that it is not 30 days from the date of sale. The thirty days is typical for how long it takes from sale date until confirmation date. Different reasons can hold it up, so it can take longer, but most are running thirty days. Therefore you’ll have 60 days to pay full balance from date of sale, pending on the terms of sale.
2. Unfortunately at no time during the process of the Sheriff’s Sale does the Sheriff nor the bank have access to any of the homes that are up for auction. Therefore we can not get you inside the property to do an inspection/appraisal.
3. This question is something that you need to discuss with your attorney as I can not answer legal questions.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 2:04 PM
Subject: Individual purchasing a house
Good morning,
I recently attended the last Sheriff auction and have a few questions that are not directly answered by the FAQ.
1) I understand that 10% of the appraised value is due when you bid. If I bid on a house and win, when exactly is the full balance of the winning bid due? Is it due when the judge signs the confirmation? Or is it due within 30 days of the confirmation? Additionally, is 30-60 days a fair estimate of how long it takes to go from winning bid to confirmation?
2) While I have the cash for the downpayment, I do not have cash for the whole balance. I will need to secure a loan, but my bank has told me they will not close on a loan until they have completed an inspection on the house. Is there a time period between when I have made the winning bid and when the full balance is due where I will have access to the property in order for inspections to take place?
3) If the previous property owner is willing to make a copy of the keys before confirmation is complete, is there any legal reason I could not enter the property to do inspections?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My Proposal

9 years ago I started the first day of my college internship with the BWC. It was May 14th - the day I first Met Lovanna. While it would be sweet to say I remember the day because we fell in love right at that very moment - that's not the case. It was the day after my 20th birthday and I still had a headache from the night before.

I do remember the very first moment I saw her, as the elevator doors opened. Why do I remember it, you might wonder.. It was the first time in my life I had ever seen such an attractive asian girl. I was seeing someone else, so its not that I wanted to run up and ask her out - but she was cute. I looked forward to working with her all summer.

About an hour later we were in the middle of a sexual harassment orientation video when I fell dead asleep. The lights were off, the video was boring, and frankly - I was working for the State - who cares.

That very first day I must have made some impression, falling asleep at work, spilling chili all over myself, and really just not caring about the job. Somehow we clicked though - I spent close to 2 hours every day that summer laying down on her desk -- no, not that way. Literally just sprawled out bored with nothing to do.

Flash forward to December 6th, 2003. For years I had been Lov's fallback plan - she had a business function and didnt have a date - she called me. I never really understood what she got from this, but I got free food and all I could drink. You don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

About an hour into this christmas party things were different. Very different. Lov taking shots of whiskey different. Who kissed who is irrelevant, and no one believes me anyways.

Flash forward to april 2009.

I'm ready to propose, and no one knows it. I know that she is the only girl that would ever make me as happy as I had been for the past 5 years. She may drive me crazy here and there, but only someone you truly love can evoke that kind of frustration :-P

So I may not have always been the best boyfriend, and anyone who knows me knows that she has had to deal with all of my eccentricaties. For the most part she has loved me for who I am - and for that I am infinitely confounded and appreciative.

I knew she wanted to be surprised. I knew she would want a proposal to remember. I had the ring, I needed a plan. I am not creative, nor rich. Crap.

So after alot of thought about ideas like flying her to NYC to see her famous jewelry designer friend, cost and execution risk were just too high. I knew of a company that does custom wine bottle labels, but Lov isnt the biggest drinker; I could imagine the disaster of trying to get her to look at a wine bottle and her screaming at me that she didnt want any. Thats out.

Deadline approaching. Explanation: Last december the Internation Gem and Jewelry show was in town. Through the help of a friend, I secured what was to be her ring without her knowledge. I may have had to stretch the truth by giving her an explanation of putting down a deposit to hold a price; Not a lie if you consider my payment a 100% deposit that locked in the price forever as it was now in my possession.

So the next Gem Show will be may 9th. I may have dropped a hint or two that I couldn't make plans that weekend as I might want to go to the Gem Show. That left me with less than a month, and one of those would be while I was in Vegas on business.

So after a little searching I found out that Gallery Hop in the Short North was May 2nd. Perfect. A great excuse to get our friends out without arousing too many suspicions. I started looking into various businesses around the short north, not sure what I was looking for. Then I came across Paul Palnik's website. I had this crazy idea that he might be able to make something custom for me. I called him and proposed the idea, and you cannot imagine my shock when he said he was game. Apparently no one had ever thought of proposing in his gallery before.

So once I had that locked down it was time to put the plan into action. That night I met with her parents, and asked for their permission to marry their daughter. The real fear in that moment was that her mom was gonig to run out and tell Lovanna right then. Thankfully that didnt happen.

I clued Stella in on the plan, and told her that I would need her help planting the seed of wanting to go to Gallery Hop. She was on board from the start.

The following weekend was the retreat and it was a nice getaway; left that directly for the airport and a week in Vegas. I found myself unable to sleep all week there - a combination of nerves, red bull, and the hotel's enriched oxygen pumping through my veins.

Saturday morning I had lunch with Henry, then Lov and I did a little shopping. Not realizing how much I had deprived myself of sleep, I fell into a 2-3 hour nap. I woke up 15 minutes before we were to leave for Stella's bday dinner at Alanas. We, of course, were late.

At dinner I downed most of a bottle of red wine, trying to keep from breaking into an all out sweat. Thoughts of whether she knew kept running through my head. I convinced myself time and again there was no way she could know. One last prayer that the weather would stay nice...

After Jeff and Ian's spring concert, we all hopped into cars for the Gallery Hop. First stop was Gallery V (which has apparently been renamed), another one I cant even remember the name of, and then it was go time.

As stella lead the pack.. I hung back. John Wung had just shown up, and was planning on catching up with us later. I clued him in as to what was about to go down, and he quickly began preparing his camera.

As I turned the corner I saw Lov a few steps from the gallery door. DISASTER - what if she walked in and saw before everyone was there??? So I quickly grabbed her arm and told her we should wait for everyone. Stella quickly hopped into the store to figure out where exactly my piece was. As people slowly entered the door, I drifted away from Lovanna, assured with Stella directly between Lov and the piece. I then asked Elliot to have his camera ready, and let him know what was about to transpire.

The rest is history. Elliot and John's pictures captured the emotions of the moment better than my words ever could.

The picture story is below, but thanks are in order:
#1 - God : for everything you have done for Lovanna and I, but espeically for the great weather you gave us that night
#2 - stella - could not have done it without you
#3 - Paul Palnik (his art is really cool, and he made this all possible)
#4 - Supreme Gems Corp - lov loves the rings - you guys did a great job!

The point of no return,

Thursday, April 30, 2009

MMS 2009 closing party will suck as bad as 2008

We all thought 2008's closing party was the worst Microsoft conference closing party ever, but apparently Microsoft didnt listen to the negative feedback last year.

This years event:
Attendee Party
Thursday, April 30, 7:00pm–10:00pm
Venetian Ballroom C
Close out an amazing event with an evening of great food, Xbox gaming (Halo Wars, Rockband 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour, etc.) and entertainment you would never expect: The Pete Contino Band! This Zydeco band features a new wave of music with an exciting New Orleans flare. Enjoy the music, sip on our signature cocktail - the ITProtini - and catch up on the week with friends old and new.

A little google stalking and you find out the pete contino band charges between 800 and 4000 for a event. (

Way to go all out Microsoft..

I will be skipping this one.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Nick Masucci wins - (yes, he's 9 years old)

Here are the final results - lets not talk about how poorly I did OK?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Final Four

Standings going into final four: (winning scenarious in previous post)

Winning Scenarios:

So with only 1 spot left in the final four - here are the possibilities:

Assuming UNC wins tonight:

MSU beats Uconn, Vill beats UNC, MSU wins it all : Coleman wins, 3 way tie for second (Bill Miller, Ryan Martin, and Joe Masucci).

MSU beats Uconn, vill beats UNC, Vill wins it all: Coleman wins, 2 way tie for second (Bill Miller, Ryan Martin).

MSU Beats Uconn, UNC beats Vill, MSU wins it all : Bill Miller and Ryan Martin tie for the win, third to AmyS.

MSU beats Uconn, UNC beats Vill, UNC wins it all : Nick Masucci wins, JasonMassie 2nd, shawn patterson 3rd.

Uconn beats MSU, vill beats UNC, UConn wins it all: Bill Miller wins it all, Adam Roddy second, Mark Ferguson gets third.

Uconn beats MSU, vill beats UNC, Vill wins it all: Bill Miller, Adam ROddy, (t 3rd - coleman/JasonMassie)

Uconn beats MSU, UNC beats vill, UNC wins it all: JasonM, t-2nd (adamJ/BillM)

Uconn beats MSU, UNC beats vill, Uconn wins it all:BillM, adamRoddy, MarkFerg

Assuming OK wins tonight:

MSU beats Uconn, Vill beats OK, MSU wins it all : Coleman wins, 3 way tie for second (Bill Miller, Ryan Martin, and Joe Masucci).

MSU beats Uconn, vill beats OK, Vill wins it all: Coleman wins, 3 way tie for second (Bill Miller, Ryan Martin, Fred Hoop).

MSU Beats Uconn, OK beats Vill, MSU wins it all : Nathan wins, coleman second, 4way tie 3rd - fredhoop, bill miller, Ryan martin, Joe Masucci

MSU beats Uconn, OK beats Vill, OK wins it all : Nathan wins, coleman second, 3way tie 3rd - fredhoop, bill miller, Ryan martin

Uconn beats MSU, vill beats OK , UConn wins it all: Bill Miller wins it all, Adam Roddy second, david baldwin gets third.

Uconn beats MSU, vill beats OK , Vill wins it all: Bill Miller, Adam ROddy, (t 3rd - coleman/JasonMassie, kim Miller)

Uconn beats MSU, OK beats vill, OK wins it all: billM, nathan, adam roddy.
Uconn beats MSU, OK beats vill, Uconn wins it all:billM, adamRoddy, baldwin.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shawn Patterson takes the lead entering the elite 8

The new standings as of the elite 8

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stupid Memphis chokes

So my bracket is basically worthless now. Memphis fell to Villanova last night.

New leaderboard:

Monday, March 23, 2009

End of the Second round done

As the second round is now behind us, Nick Masucci is still in first place. If North Carolina goes on to win it all, there are very few scenarios where he does not win it.

RickM follows shortly behind him, and likewise, is almost guaranteed victory if Duke wins it all. Shawn Patterson is counting on Memphis beating Louisville to win it all, but he needs louisville. If the final is against Oklahoma Nathan will most likely win it all. If Syracuse can make it to the final four (unrealistic, I know) then I'm back in the game.

Outside of that, the tourney is still wide open - so lets all root for UNC and Duke to lose in the sweet 16!

Heres the current status.

Outside of that, no one has a lock.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

W Kentucky and Duke thrillers end saturday night

Another day of the tourney is over and the dreams of Michigan, Texas, and W Kentucky are done.

Young Nick Masucci leads at this point..

Friday, March 20, 2009

Upsets change the face of the tourney!

Its now the Rick Nick show.. Rick M's last second submission is now in first place..

After 24 games, Kim and Shawn lead

Kim and shawn have predicted 21 of 24 games.

16 first round games down, 16 to go

After 16 games, we have yet to see any real upsets. Michigan and W Kentucky pulled minor upsets, and 10 and 12 respectively. Western continue the annual tradition of a number 5 seed losing.

Dan Reese's unconventional bracket came just a few shots from correctly picking Norther Iowa, but his dream of Chatanooge eliminating UConn leaves his bracket remains lying in the lurch.

The big stories of the day were the almost-losses of Memphis and Villanove. Both made late runs to stay in the tournament.

Congratulations to Shawn Patterson and Jason Massie who both correctly predicted 15 of the 16 games last night.

Updated stats after day one:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brackets are now set

Click on the image for full size.

We will have 45 people in the pool this year.

You can see everyones picks HERE

Masucci D has not submitted his results, so I will have to remove him from the chart.