Archive for January, 2008

Tomorrow’s Live Wire

January 31, 2008

Interest(ing) rates; upholstery matters (it really does); encyclopedic knowledge; holding on tight to that ad jingle; and Forrest Gump and his real missus.

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Sorry for the lack of posts today. I’ve been swamped. I promise to do better tomorrow.

For a look at the Live Wire that was in today’s paper, go here.

Tomorrow’s Live Wire

January 30, 2008

You can’t compete with school lunch. Seriously. You really can’t.

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But you can use good cents.

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You’ll just have to Mark my words — and wonder.

Beware telephone calls from the “IRS,” too

January 30, 2008

Another warning from the IRS on scammers and some of their e-mail and phone-call tactics.

Do not give out your bank account information to someone who calls you out of the blue, even if he (or she) says he’s from the IRS, even if he mentions that magic word “rebate,” and even if he says you can’t get the rebate unless you give him that info.

He’s a liar. So’s she if it’s a she who’s calling.

The IRS doesn’t make anyone use direct deposit. If you choose to use direct deposit, you’d indicate it on your tax form when you sent that in and you’d include the appropriate routing information with your form.

Inside my TV eye

January 30, 2008

I never stop to wonder why… they’re gonna switch to digital TV, to digital TV….old-tv.jpg

OK, that’s a really, really bad takeoff on Karl Wallinger’s lyrics to a really great (danceable and catchy) song called Way Down Now, by World Party. (Not Karl Wallinger, btw –> )

But I couldn’t get the opening of the song out of my mind this morning after I got two press releases about the scary digital TV airwaves revolution that’s looming.

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Scary because there’s this huge mass of information about this big change that’s planned for Feb. 17 of next year and it just confuses the ever-loving heck out of those of us who’ve happened to have heard of it. Do we need new TVs? Do we need converter boxes? Do I need to upgrade my cable/satellite service? Will I be able to pick up a signal off an antenna? What should I dooooo???? Agh!!! (more…)

That e-mail you got from the “IRS” about your refund?

January 30, 2008

It’s fake.

small-irs-logo.jpgDon’t respond. Don’t click on the link embedded in it. It’s an attempt to steal your personal info and you want no part of that.

Instead, you can forward the e-mail to the actual IRS. Or delete it and pat yourself on the back for being so smart. (more…)

The secret identity of Superdelegate(s)

January 30, 2008

If you’re interested in learning more about superdelegates — today’s lead Q&A in Live Wire — I want to direct you to a few links.

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*If you’ve got the interest and the time — about 35 minutes — download the Jan. 22 podcast of the Please Explain show on New York City public-radio station WNYC.

On it, guest host Jonathan Capehart asks American government professor Stephen J. Wayne of Georgetown University and Kennedy School of Government lecturer (and big Dem) Elaine C. Kamarck to explain delegates, superdelegates and how the nominating system works in simple terms.

And, happily, they do.

*If you want to keep an eye on what those darn superdelegates are up to in terms of endorsements — and what the Democrats are up to leading up to the convention — the 2008 Democratic Convention Watch blog is one place to look. It has lists of superDs who have already endorsed a presidential candidate and superDs who haven’t.

Not that these endorsements are set in stone. A recent entry on the site notes that N.C. Congressman G.K. Butterfield switched his endorsement from John Edwards to Barack Obama.

As of today, Butterfield’s fellow NC Dems in the House — who were all still backing Edwards — are going to have to find a new presidential candidate, too.edwards.jpg

*Want to keep straight when all these pesky primaries and caucuses are and how many delegates are at stake in each? The NYT has a handy cheat sheet.

Tomorrow’s Live Wire

January 29, 2008

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…. superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention!

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And isn’t that just true to type?

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Deep in the heart of taxes

January 29, 2008

If you’re a DIYer, where do you get the forms?tax-form.jpg

Loads of places.

Online, you can download IRS forms at this link. Click on the form you want, then on the “review selected files” button. You’ll pull up a page with a link to a printable PDF version of the form and you’re off. (more…)

Tomorrow’s Live Wire

January 28, 2008

What’s in a name?

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And a little family business….

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How do you post on this thing?

January 28, 2008

Larry e-mailed to say he checked out the blog but couldn’t figure out how to ask a question_mark_270×251.jpgquestion here or post a comment.

“Doesn’t a blog have a way to ask?” he asks. “Somehow, I thought a blog was a two-way deal, like a forum.”

It is indeed. While could-be, would-be and should-be commentators/questioners/ etcetera-ers can’t create new entries on this blog, they can and should post their thoughts in comments beneath an existing entry. For example, under this particular entry, where it (currently) says “no comments” (sob!), you’d click on that link. (Much after-the-fact note: Comments have now been added. So just click on the “comments” link. The rest of the process is as follows below.)

You’d then open a page in which you could write a comment or question. In order to post that, though, you’d have to give a name — Larry, for example. Or maybe L.J. Or even something like Mr. Question Man, if you were feeling a bit superheroish but with a penchant for anonymity. So that’s the name part.

You’d also have to give your e-mail address. But! Not to fear. It wouldn’t be published. Promise.

You could also give a Web site if you wanted. That’s up to you.

Then you could write your message and hit “submit” and, ta da!, it would appear.

So you can ask questions or make comments like that. Or you can e-mail me. (To e-mail me, click on the “me” link that you just read past a second ago; you know, back in the second sentence of this paragraph. Or type in my e-mail address — livewire@fayobserver.com.) It’s all good. 🙂

Meanwhile, to find an item that was previously published on the blog — or to see if there’s been any mention of a particular topic — just plug a keyword into the search box and click on “search.” For example, if you search for “recycle,” you turn up three previous posts that contain that word (as of May 29, when I’m adding this update). But note: If you search for “recycling,” you turn up five posts (including the previous three). So if there are permutations of a particular word, you might want to search them all.

Also, if you encounter “Error 404” and “Not Found” when you click on the “previous entries” link at the bottom of the blog page, then click on a date in the calendar over there on the right side or on the name of the month. Those are other ways to get to previous entries on the blog.