Will Bueché

»

Blog

I don't blog much 

Someone else looking after it

Posted in Personal by Will on Friday, July 30th, 2010 ~ 9pm

Half the beauty in the experience of getting electrolysis is that while you are laying on the table, I no longer need to be concerned with my body. Someone else is looking after it. Albeit, only in a limited fashion — they’re only working on hairs. But the sensation is that I can at last relax and let someone else worry after my body for awhile. In that, there is relief and such sweet relaxation.

(I wonder if this applies to alien abduction too. Maybe in the classic moments, but I can’t say I’ve ever had that impression. Still, would be good to save this thought just to compare.)

Colorado forces residents to pay taxes on what they buy online!

Posted in Personal by Will on Saturday, July 24th, 2010 ~ 5pm

Colorado passed a law to force residents to pay taxes on what they buy online! And it already went into effect! Beware!!! Amazon now says that “over our strong objections” they now must report our total purchases over a certain threshold to the State of Colorado Department of Revenue. (That threshold is rumored to be $250 per merchant). And then when we do our tax returns, we have to pay the taxes on what we bought over the year. And we have to pay the high Colorado tax rate, not the tax rate of where Amazon is.

Since I use Amazon for many things, my year-to-date expenses at Amazon are more than $___ (I don’t even recall buying anything in particular). The new law only went into effect on May 1 though, so since May 1, I’ve bought $400 worth of stuff from Amazon. Socks, cellphone battery, music, movies, shoes, a backpack, a comic book… and it is none of Colorado’s business. Literally and figuratively.

Some would say I’m overreacting.

After all, based on what I’ve spent so far this year, I’ll only owe $30 more in taxes.

But by year’s end, assuming my grand total at Amazon is a thousand bucks (and I hope it won’t be, now that I’m aware of this new law), that would be $82 more in taxes. And being hit with an unexpected $82 bill on April 15 is enough to cause stress in anyone.

We need to reexamine why local taxes exist in the first place. It isn’t simply like the Mob saying “You wanna do business in our town? You gotta give us a cut!”. There’s a rationale for state and local taxes. Wear and tear on the town from those who have businesses in the town. Sewer systems being used more by the employees who moved to the town to work. Schools for those employee’s kids. Etc. But with internet purchases, there is no wear and tear. There’s no use. Aside from some UPS trucks rumbling around, there is no great infrastructure that the presence of a business entails, for which the state or city should be compensated. (And UPS already pays taxes for the locations is keeps in state, and for the vehicles it drives around the state.)

It’s an unfair tax. A tax created to increase revenues, solely for the purpose of increasing revenues.

So, can this tax be avoided, legally?

In the case of Amazon, many of the items, although purchased through Amazon, were actually not sold by Amazon and so I could have avoided having them reported. Many retailers that sell clothes or shoes or electronics (for example) exist on Amazon as well as on their own websites. So if I’d bought shoes directly from Shoes.com rather than from Shoes.com’s presence on Amazon.com, I could have kept the total spent at Amazon below $250 for the year, and kept my private life out of Colorado’s eavesdropping. I used Amazon, as does most everyone, because Amazon’s transaction system is proven to be secure.

So you could keep your Amazon total low. However, regardless of how you spread your purchases around, there is still an obligation for you, as an upstanding citizen, to report all of your online purchases to the State of Colorado. Always has been. “The State of Colorado requires that the taxpayer file a sales/use tax return at the end of the year reporting all of the purchases that were not taxed and pay tax on those purchases.” Has anyone ever done so? Probably not. It isn’t something the H&R Block office ever asks people about. But it is there on the tax forms, and I expect that people who buy big things, like tractors or boats, are told to fill it in.

News articles say this Colorado internet tax is unprecedented and will be appealed up to the Supreme Court. We can hope it will be overturned. However, the national Democratic party (which I usually like) has started to solicit support for taxing internet purchases everywhere. The whole country could soon be facing the same situation that Colorado is experiencing now.

Dr. Mack Translated Into Italian

Posted in Personal by Will on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 ~ 6pm

An Italian website contacted the John E. Mack Institute for permission to translate some articles.

We granted them permission, and I asked what word they would use for “experiencer”, since that is sort of an invented word in English that Dr. Mack popularized. It has become an important word in the lexicon of alien encounter research, so needed some careful attention.

My housemate asked some of his librarian colleagues who knew Italian what resources existed for getting the finer sense of word meanings, and he turned me on to this site —

http://www.woxikon.com/english-italian/experience.php

— which suggested that “esperienza” can carry the meanings of knowledge/mental sensation/skill. Sounded about right, and the word is a good sound-alike.

So I proposed “esperienzer” (esperienza with an “er” at the end), but I did not know if adding an “r” to the end of a word turns something into a noun like it does in English. (“One who has the qualities of being a Fuck“, in English, becomes “Fucker”).

The Italian replied back that “esperienzanti” may be what we had in mind. (As anticipated, Italian does not place an “r” at the end). “‘Esperienzanti’ is like ‘those who are experiencing something’“, he wrote. “I think this word does not exist,” he noted, “but I like the idea. I can use it.”

Later discussions and feedback from dual-language speakers led us to a final decision in which we’ve opted for a term that suggests “one who experiences a particular state”:

“Experiencers” and “Experiencer” in Italian will henceforth be:

“esperienti” (plural),
“esperiente” (singular)

At least in articles by the late Dr. John Mack.

Update: “esperienzante” might be masculine singular. Feminine singular might be “esperienzanta”. I’ll check when the translations are done, I don’t want to bother the guy more.
—-
(I ruled out the original suggestion that the translator had provided of “sperimentatore” which is similar to an “experimenter”, because it felt a bit too active — the word needs to carry some passivity to it. Receptivity to experience, but not necessarily much ability to produce an experience. Plus the root of the word would make English speakers giggle.)

UPDATE: I emailed American-based Italian researcher Paolo Harris, and she confirmed that there has not yet been an Italian term for “experiencer” invented yet, so we are truly pioneering the use of these new terms. I hope it catches on as a more direct translation of the term “experiencer”, because a unique, invented English word deserves a unique, invented Italian word. (She told me that a word similar to the English word “contactee” is most often used — “Contattisti, or Contattati, but mostly Contattisti”. “Contactee” carries the implication that a person has been contacted by an outside agency, thus negating the possibility that the experiences might be internally generated, and that is the sort of narrowing of meaning that the term “experiencer” was meant to avoid. By being more broad, “experiencer” allows for many interpretations.)

My own personal BP

Posted in Personal by Will on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 ~ 10am

I have a pimple. Not a pimple like I’ve sometimes had that you squeeze and pop out some white junk, but a pimple that is more like a deposit of clear water or oil underneath my skin. If I push around it, beads of water (or oil) appear that I can dab off with a tissue. I’ve never had a pimple like this before. When I got into my hot car to drive to work, the heat of my car made that pimple sweat out oil.

I blame British Petrolium.

past »