Sunday, April 24, 2016

Don’t bring your bottles here

New York has had a bottle return law for at least 30 years.  I know this due to working part time at Stewart's after being discharged from the army in 1985.  It was a pretty unsophisticated system back then; the customer brought their empties and they were often counted on the counter and then placed in the back.  Stewart's was never equipped to handle big bottle returns and we (myself and fellow employees from back in 1985) were never too happy to see a customer arrive with a massive collection of returnable bottles.

Fast forward 30 years to today and we are blessed with automated machines for bottle returns (although as far as I know, Stewart's and other smaller convenience stores typically do not have these machines).  These machines are a great improvement… when they work.  Even with automated machines there is much opportunity for improvement and this posting reflects my quick and dirty experiences returning bottles in my local stores.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Trust me; I’m a Christian

Ugghh, we’re used car shopping once again for child #2.  Between her, my wife and me, we often have 5 different opinions when it comes to picking a car so there was a glimmer of hope as my wife and I trekked off to see a low mileage Versa posted on Craig’s list.  My initial contact went smooth, excepting what sounded like a heavy Russian / Ukraine area accent making comprehension somewhat strained.  An initial meeting was set up at a neutral location and both parties arrived timely and we quickly departed on a smooth test drive.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

In Defense of Trump?

This wouldn’t be the first time that MTQ came to the side of an unsavory character; like the Duggars, I’m not a fan and would object to being labeled a Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact at this point, I’d estimate my chances of voting for Trump as being less than the probability that the Donald recently expressed in regards to using a nuke on Europe – neither are likely to happen.  Aside from my personal distaste, I am enjoying watching the appalled yellow media clamoring for his attention; it’s apparent that the mainstream media can barely tolerate him, but they love the ratings he brings.  This week has been particularly hard on the Donald on two fronts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tax Reflections 2016

1.  Encryption, Encryption, Encryption – Tax time is prime time for scam artists to steal your personal information.  Many tax payers will find that their tax information will be online.  There is a temptation to get it, save it and then email it to yourself or your trusted tax preparer… don’t do it until you have encrypted it!  Typically these documents are PDF (file extension) documents).  The most popular PDF application, Adobe Reader does not have the capacity to encrypt these documents.  In the first of what has become an annual tradition for MTQ, I recommended (and continue to recommend), PDF-XChange Viewer which is a free application that is easy to use and provides the ability to encrypt your PDF documents.  Many are now doing some or all tax preparation on an iPad or tablet.  I use FoxIt MobilePDF on my iPad to encrypt PDF documents that include personal information that I pull onto my iPad.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Full time telework – one year later

It’s been a little over a year since I transitioned to full time telework and based on the popularity of a prior posting on the topic I thought I would reflect on my experiences.  For better or for worse, our organization is a big supporter of teleworking.  I add the “for worse” part as in my work interactions I often see instances where I question whether the individual should be teleworking perhaps I may tangent some additional thoughts relating to this later, but I will begin by focusing on my experience.  I was a gradual adopter of telework – first starting a stint where I teleworked once a week and then moving to teleworking a few days each week and then finally taking the plunge about a year ago to full time telework.  Just to be clear when I am referring to telework in my instance I am referring to working from home.