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Friday, June 21, 2013

A comedy of errors


On April 12, I was coming back from Chattanooga - I'd been at the IRS, after successfully getting a wage levy lifted from a client's account (I'm a CPA and it was three days before the end of tax season btw, so I was feeling pretty harried).  About halfway back to Cleveland, I was pulled over and given a speeding ticket.


I realized yesterday, that I had missed my court date for the speeding ticket.  Ordinarily, I would have just paid the ticket, but this time I wanted to talk to the judge, and explain the circumstances, in the hope that he or she would give me a break and keep the ticket off my record (and therefore off of my insurance record).

"Why did you miss your court date?", you ask.  I'll tell you:  I have an employee, Terry, who was taken into hospital a week so so ago, leaving us both worried about him, and also short staffed.  He is going to be fine, but is leaving his appendix and part of his colon with the hospital. We are a small office, and it was pretty chaotic - to the point that I JUST PLAIN FORGOT. (


Ok, so I made arrangements to go to court this morning, where I would presumably be able to charm the judge.  I was supposed to be there at 8:30 sharp. However, this morning a semi crashed on the interstate, closing I-75 south, and re-routing everyone.  I finally made it to court at 9 am, and was able to sit in the courtroom with thugs, scalawags, Mother rapers, Father stabbers, Father rapers! (homage to Arlo Guthrie right there).  The guy before me was wearing handcuffs, an orange jumpsuit and orange Crocs. He and the judge were arguing about his next court appearance, since the guy was due to go to prison in Georgia until 2015, and wouldn't be available in 60 days.

Thankfully, not my judge

Finally, it was my turn.  I went up to the bench with my coat, tie, and accountants face on.  The judge asked me why I missed the original court date, and had no sympathy when I told him about Terry. He chewed me out and rescheduled the court date for my heinous crime to August 26, with a stern warning that excuses would not work a second time.

This is in no way reminiscent of my morning in court:

I left court, chagrined, and went to get into my car.  Guess what was on my windshield?  Yep:

Happy birthday, Ian.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Eating and exercising

If you know me, you've watched me blossom from about 195 lbs at the beginning of 2012 to 217 (!!!) at the end of tax season this year. I went from bumbling through my 8th marathon, to not being capable of running a mile without stopping. I went from eating like I was going to run a marathon to, well, eating like I was going to run a marathon (minus the exercise).

Anyhow, nowadays I go to work in my only pair of sweatpants that still fit.

Me, the day after tax season ended:

OK, not really, but I have started looking at my eating and exercise routines. Each day, I do at least an hour of something and usually alternate running one day and biking the next. My goal is to run the 4 Bridges 1/2 marathon in the fall, followed by a credible Chickamauga 1/2 Marathon in November.


I've been using an app called "My Fitness Pal" (, which tracks calories taken in, records sodium, protein, cholesterol, sugar, various vitamins and other stuff.  It also takes away calories burned through exercise, based on the type of exercise, and my weight.  I can plug in my goal weight, and how quickly I want to reach it and the app (I mainly use it on my phone) will adjust the desired caloric intake to what it would take to get me there.  I've been using it for a little while now, and it is working. An interesting byproduct of using it is that I'm paying attention to what I eat now, and don't want to put entries in that go against my goal.

So, I'm down 8 lbs so far.  Looks like I'm dropping about 2 per week, AND I'm getting back into shape. AND I feel much better about myself.  Pretty soon, I'm going to have to buy some smaller sweatpants.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Self awareness, AKA The emperor has no clothes...

...AKA, it's good to have good people close to you.

Michael Jackson died of an overdose of propofol, because his doctor didn't have the stones to tell him no. At the time of his death, he had become a freak of nature, surrounded by sycophants who sucked the money and common sense right out of him.

Likewise, Elvis Presley. In my opinion, he was ruined because he was surrounded by people who had no motivation to tell him when he was being ridiculous. They were making too much money off of him to ever stop him short and tell him a few truths (I'd have told him not to put on that white jumpsuit, for one thing!)


I was talking to a friend on Thursday about self awareness. My point being that all of us of believe that we are self aware, but are we really? If you don't have someone who cares about you enough to jerk a knot in your tail, you may start to believe your own press and forget that not all of your decisions are good ones, and that you may not actually appear to the world the same way you appear in your mind.

A sibling can really help to keep you grounded. A typical brother or sister isn't going to listen to self aggrandizement without snorting at your silliness and telling you to get over yourself. Also, I think that one of the hallmarks of a good marriage is when a spouse is not afraid to (nicely and lovingly) point out that the other is wrong, or on the wrong track - ultimately, the correction will make the person being corrected a better, more stable person.

Now in my opinion, and referring back up to the top to the Michael Jackson paragraph, Michael's family don't appear to have served him very well at all.  Somewhere down the line, people - his family included from what I've seen - stopped saying "You're an idiot".  Idunno, maybe because they were all making a ton of money off of his very large amount of talent?

This really could have been nipped in the bud, couldn't it?

I own a teeny-tiny accounting firm right here in beautiful downtown Cleveland, Tennessee.  I am the only CPA in the firm - Luckily, I have a good network of other CPAs of whom I can ask questions.  I also depend on, and ask the opinions of, my staff.  I may have more technical knowledge of accounting (doesn't that phrase just send a sexy shiver down your spine?  No?  Huh.), but I hope that I have enough of their respect to where they will give me their honest opinions about a business decision I might make.  I may not take their advice, but I do listen.

I believe that it is the process of listening to others advice and gentle (hopefully) corrections that they make, that enable a person to have a glimmer of self awareness. I have no illusions that I am self-aware, but I hope that the knowledge that I'm not, makes me be...just a little.  Know what I mean?

By the way, do these jeans make my butt look big?