Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Latest column's up! This week, I tell you all about Free Money:

"I don’t like wading into political debates. Granted, I do enjoy politics and follow them closely, but debates are not friendly to me. No matter how well prepared I am; no matter how many statistics I have in my corner backing me up, my opponent always seems to have just that much more in his/her corner, and it’s not long before I’m left gasping for breath. My opponent walks away, assured of his/her victory, and I’m left there questioning my own beliefs. But, there’s something going on right now that I feel I just have to contribute my own two cents. That’s the upcoming $400 “prosperity bonus” going to every Albertan."

Let's get political!

Actually, I have a little footnote to this week's column. In order to get your $400 prosperity bonus, you have to meet two requirements: you have to be an Alberta citizen as of September 1, and you have to have filed your 2004 income tax return. Now, a lot of people are of the mindset "The government won't care if I don't file my taxes unless I owe something," and thus don't file their tax return. And, with this requirement of "must have filed last year's tax return to get your $400," those tax places like H&R Block are finding themselves SWAMPED! This is usually the slowest time of the year, but now, everyone is rushing to file their 2004 tax return so they can get their $400.

And yes, I filed my tax return back in the spring. My mother always told me to file my taxes even if I don't owe anything, because that way, I'll get my GST rebate.

Just got back from a day trip to Red Deer. I think I told you this tale...my cousin just got back from a trip to Disneyland. Now, as you all know, I collect Star Wars action figures, and Disneyland is the only place on the planet where you can buy Star Wars action figures of the Star Tours characters. I was explaining this to my aunt and uncle:

Them>> Can't you buy them at the Disney Store?

Me>> Nope.

Them>> Can't you buy them online at Disney's online souvineer stores?

Me>> Nope. I've tried. The only place on the planet where you can buy them is at Disneyland. Well, and Disney World, too.

So, when they left, I requested that they bring me 2 Star Wars: Star Tours action figures, and I'd pay them back. Picked them up today. I now have 2 Star Tours action figures for my collection! And it cost me $22 American.

And then, after that, I was browsing through Toys R Us, and I geeked out and bought Zett Jukassa. For those who don't care, Zett Jukassa is the young Jedi padawan that's mercilessly slaughtered in front of Bail Organa in Revenge of the Sith. The only thing that makes this character notable is that he's played by Jett Lucas, son of George Lucas. That little fact has made him popular with collectors...and very tough to find.

So I geeked out and bought him.

Also had coffee with one of my old classmates from NAIT, who is now doing very well for herself in the Red Deer radio market. She's kept in closer touch with the rest of my class and, apparently, the biggest unsolved mystery among my old classmates is "How come no one will hire Mark?" Apparently, among my classmates, I had the reputation of being the smartest and the most talented and the hardest working.

(Personally, I thought that the SHE, the one I was having coffee with, was the smartest and the most talented and the hardest working. That's why I'm working to stay in touch with her. She's gonna go far, and I'm gonna ride on her coattails as far as I can.)

And she told me some very good news. As you've heard me rant about, I was totally distressed when I turned on the news one night and saw that the class stoner was now at 96X, one of Edmonton's top radio stations. I told that to my friend, and she said, "What? No! That wasn't him! He got fired from his practicum and thus flunked out of NAIT. He went to work for another radio station, and got fired from there, too. Last I heard, he'd given up on radio and he was a clerk at Sport Check or something like that."

Needless to say, that REALLY brightened my day.

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