Days of Whine and Neurosis

Monday, February 14, 2005

Taxes On Ice

I started ramping-up to do my taxes this weekend. It's always such a pain, but particularly annoying when you work for yourself and have 10-times as much to do at tax time. At least the FAFSA deadline makes it somewhat rewarding this year, so I'll get going and crank them out this week. I saw a special on outsourcing a few months ago that showed all of these cube-farms in India where U.S. tax preparation firms would send their clients’ data. People would drop off their receipts, W-2s, etc. at the local branch, and all of that info was scanned and sent over the net. The outsourced labor would do all of the crunching, fill out the IRS forms and send them back over the net, and the U.S. branch would just print out the forms and hand them to the client. The people who paid for the tax preparation service never had a clue. Kind of cool, scary, amazing, and to-be-expected, all at the same time.

Remember all of the talk about outsourcing during the Presidential campaign? Boy, that sure fell off the radar quickly. I love how that happens. In November, everyone pitches a fit over issues that they won’t even remember come February. Thanks to sound bites and headlines, we now have the collective attention span of a gnat.

I heard today that the NHL season is officially cancelled. Yes! A sincere “sorry” to all of the hockey fans out there, but I just don’t like the sport. I didn’t grow up in hockey country, and to me it’s soccer-on-ice. It just gets in the way of the NBA, IMO. I think it’s safe to say that both sides of the NHL labor issue overestimated the value of their brand. Their arrogance is going to bite them in the rear. Most people couldn’t care less that hockey has been non-existent this year. The sport’s going to have a long uphill climb to regain its fan-base and credibility. It took baseball a long time to do just that, and baseball is the national pastime. Hockey is a sport that struggles for airtime on time-slots not locked down by the NFL and NBA. It’s kind of like Tito sitting out a few Jackson 5 concerts, hoping to convince his brothers to let him sing lead. Most would just say, “Tito was actually IN the Jackson 5? Wow, who knew?!?!” Re-print the shirts to read “Jackson 4” and kick Tito to the curb. Greed is not always good, Mr. Gecko.