There are taxes, and then there are taxes

I’m rich!

Well, sort of.

I guess I should say I’m richer than I thought I was.

Or I will be, someday.

Yesterday I was doing some retirement planning (yeah, I know… another crazy Saturday morning). In a conversation at dinner with some friends on Friday night, I realized I’d mis-calculated some of the taxes in my long-term plan. As I considered how to efficiently “draw down” from my investments to fund my retirement, I’d been calculating the taxes at standard federal income tax rates. But in a flash of insight, I remembered that withdrawals from stock positions are actually taxed at the capital gains rate. Moreover, it’s only the gains that are taxed– not the bulk of the investments (they were already taxed before I invested them).

I pulled up my spreadsheet and updated a few formulas, then sat back and looked at the numbers. Things are much better than I thought they would be. Before, retirement felt a little bit like skating on some questionable ice, and now I’m relieved that it shouldn’t be quite like that. Of course we’ll end up adjusting things as we go, but it’s nice to know I’ll have a little bit more money than I thought I would.

Yeah, the adventures of financial planning, right?


One of the many great things about being an adult is the opportunity to make a fresh batch of chocolate-chip cookies.

Whenever you want!

So yeah, that’s what I did tonight.


From strictly a statistical viewpoint, this is technically correct…

… but, really, Fox News?

Air travel sucks

Yesterday I booked a flight on United Airlines. Later in the day I received an email that outlined all of the services and perks I wouldn’t be getting with my ticket.

“You have a carry-on? Nope. You want to sit with your family or friends? Too bad.” I can’t decide if it’s funny or tragic that air travel is so terrible these days that the airlines have to send emails specifically to point out how terrible it is…

RIP lion’s mane

Zaque’s been growing out his hair for the better part of the year, and he finally decided it was time to give it a trim. He called himself a “mushroom head”, although I felt more like he had a lion’s mane:

After ten minutes with the trimmer, things looked much better.

I’ll miss that crazy head of hair, but I admit it does look a lot better now…

Song lyrics

Hey Pandora, I don’t remember the words to the song “Rapture” by IIO. Can you remind me?

Password generator

I get so tired of passwords. I understand their importance, and given all the crazy online attacks these days, I figure I need to be more diligent in managing my passwords.

For a few years, I’ve been using a custom password generator I wrote; it creates passwords like this:


While those are generally considered “strong” passwords, they’re impossible to remember (of course every web site and account has its own). And if I’m logging into an account from another computer or my phone or tablet, I have to look up the password and slowly type it in. Ugh.

So, in the spirit of Randall Munroe’s famous XKCD comic…

… I decided to update my password generator to chain together a bunch of English words. Maybe that’ll make these passwords a little easier to remember, and certainly easier to type. My new tool gives me stuff like:

After adding in a number and a special character or two, I have an easy way to generate passwords for web sites. We’ll see if this ends up being any easier…