March 28, 2003

Taxes, GameBoys, and Vans

Posted by Scott at 11:13 PM

I've started work on the taxes. So far it seems that we should come out with a nice refund. While I don't like thinking I've given the government an interest free loan, I'd still rather come out with a refund than a payment. TurboTax mentioned something that's either new or I hadn't noticed before. Much of NH's car registration can be itemized because a)it's proportional to assessed car value (at least in NH and MA...), b)it's annual and c)it's personal property. Ever since selling the ol' CRX and Escort, every year has had some stiff annual registration fees because of the cars' value. Being able to deduct it is a nice perk and adds to the refund.

Because of working a bit on taxes, I didn't work on any new pictures. There are some cute ones in the camera, but first things first. Perhaps with the nice weather tomorrow I'll capture some more nice shots.

While many kids are talking about the new Nintendo GameBoy Advance SP, I found the handheld game system I would love to tinker with: the GamePark32. Yes, it plays Gameboy stuff, but also NES and Super NES, as well as much older stuff like Commodore 64 games, ZX Spectrum games, and my personal favorite: MAME. MAME is a software engine that replicates the classic video games I grew up with: PacMan, Space Invaders, Q-Bert, DonkeyKong, etc. I had it installed on our iMac a year ago and the fidelity of the emulation was downright creepy. I was in a time warp. Sure the graphics are cheesy compared to a modern PS2 or XBox, but those games are like listening to 80's music. It brings back memories, however hokey they may be. Speaking of which, the Gamepark32 doubles as an MP3 player.

I followed up on some advice to look into the Ford 12 and 15 passenger vans. The number of 15 passenger vans with 20-30k miles available on eBay for a reasonable price in the teens was significant. My friend was right. Once they have about 20K miles, they sell for about half, even though they'll last well beyond 100K miles. So I went to and read some reviews there. Almost all were surprisingly positive, as my friend had said. The reviewers all seemed to like them more than minivans. To be fair most said it took a bit to get used to a)parking and b)poor gas mileage relative to a V-6 minivan. Overall though, I'll have to keep them in mind. Now I just need to check the length of the garage and the dimensions of the garage door. *grin*