Posts by James Sotherden


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21) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Tax deductible? (Message 1769440)
Posted 4 Mar 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
That is a good question for which there is no definitive answer. One project, Quantum Cures even states that "people donating their computer time to be used for the research may be able to take a tax deduction for the time their machines are used."
I wrote about issue several years ago. I believe that the costs of providing a service for a Non Profit should be deductible. Back in 2008 my out of pocket costs were significant and I did deduct $24,000 in very well documents costs. But I had 10 purpose built computers that did nothing but run seti and other distributed computer programs. That particular year my income was in the mid six figure range and as an attorney I was read and willing to put that to a legal challenge. I documented the costs, power consumption, photographed hard drives directories and was ready for an audit and legal challenge. I had a bullet proof case that the computers were only used for donation of services to a not for profit organization, UC Berkeley. I didn't get to put the case on. The IRS accepted my return on it's face value. I was not audited.

However, in your case based on your facts I would say no. You are looking to build a computer for gaming using Seti contribution to offset the costs. If you read IRS Publication 526 it's pretty clear that the cost must be for the sole purpose and directly related to providing services to a non-profit. You do not appear to meet that test.

The IRS has had their agency budget cut, as has the SSA agency budget, thanks to less money, services got cut, offices were close, employees laid off, all cause of Congress.

Well as I have been audited twice by the IRS. ( lost one, Won one ) I will never tempt the IRS to audit me.
The one I lost was when I was going to a Welder-Fitter program and received a stipend. Me doing my own taxes didn't know I had to report the income. (Yeah I was young and stupid )The second one I won. I had a tax professional do my taxes after the first audit. I was divorced by then. At the time you could deduct a certain portion of child support if you met certain conditions. They called me on it. My tax guy supplied the proof.
I don't care if there are undermanned and have a crappy budget. If you think you can cheat the IRS you will be caught up with.

At the time of my two audits, I made in 1981, $8,223.00. The second audit was in 1984. I made $25,693 that year.
They just don't go after the big money makers. If they find a flag the will take a look. Why take a chance on cheating?

I don't blame you, but at the same time they are just doing their job. Yes I filed My own taxes years ago, I didn't file for anything beyond the ordinary junk, but still what I said is valid, since less funding means less employees, while those elsewhere higher up than you, that could pay, end up getting away with not paying anything, taxes are necessary, even ROME had taxes, no Taxes, No Roman Empire, since nothing is free, clean water and air, nor new energy technology research, NOAA, NASA, DOD, Congress, etc, etc.

If they have the time and you're a big enough fish to haul in, sure, otherwise, they have bigger fish to fry.

Negative Vic. I was not nor have I ever been a bigger fish. They caught me in the net twice. I got away the second time because I used a tax professional, That used the IRS's own rules.
If the IRS gets you in the net they will fry you no matter what size fish you are.
I will never cheat on my taxes. Not one dollar. It is not worth the hassle, Trust me.
22) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Tax deductible? (Message 1768956)
Posted 2 Mar 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
That is a good question for which there is no definitive answer. One project, Quantum Cures even states that "people donating their computer time to be used for the research may be able to take a tax deduction for the time their machines are used."
I wrote about issue several years ago. I believe that the costs of providing a service for a Non Profit should be deductible. Back in 2008 my out of pocket costs were significant and I did deduct $24,000 in very well documents costs. But I had 10 purpose built computers that did nothing but run seti and other distributed computer programs. That particular year my income was in the mid six figure range and as an attorney I was read and willing to put that to a legal challenge. I documented the costs, power consumption, photographed hard drives directories and was ready for an audit and legal challenge. I had a bullet proof case that the computers were only used for donation of services to a not for profit organization, UC Berkeley. I didn't get to put the case on. The IRS accepted my return on it's face value. I was not audited.

However, in your case based on your facts I would say no. You are looking to build a computer for gaming using Seti contribution to offset the costs. If you read IRS Publication 526 it's pretty clear that the cost must be for the sole purpose and directly related to providing services to a non-profit. You do not appear to meet that test.

The IRS has had their agency budget cut, as has the SSA agency budget, thanks to less money, services got cut, offices were close, employees laid off, all cause of Congress.

Well as I have been audited twice by the IRS. ( lost one, Won one ) I will never tempt the IRS to audit me.
The one I lost was when I was going to a Welder-Fitter program and received a stipend. Me doing my own taxes didn't know I had to report the income. (Yeah I was young and stupid )The second one I won. I had a tax professional do my taxes after the first audit. I was divorced by then. At the time you could deduct a certain portion of child support if you met certain conditions. They called me on it. My tax guy supplied the proof.
I don't care if there are undermanned and have a crappy budget. If you think you can cheat the IRS you will be caught up with.

At the time of my two audits, I made in 1981, $8,223.00. The second audit was in 1984. I made $25,693 that year.
They just don't go after the big money makers. If they find a flag the will take a look. Why take a chance on cheating?
23) Message boards : Cafe SETI : George Kennedy dies age 91 (Message 1768951)
Posted 2 Mar 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
I just heard about this today. He was a fine actor. He could play both good and bad guy roles. And was believable doing both. RIP Sir.
24) Message boards : Cafe SETI : This house that Seti built................ (Message 1768032)
Posted 27 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
We ALL contribute to the climate of these forums when we post things that are unkind..

What some of us get in a PM could be called incitement to riot too. Heh heh :-) Next time I get addressed as Sambo there, I won't sink to the level it came from.

The quickest "fix" to making the tone of the Cafe more pleasant is for posters to make a concerted effort to be as kind as possible as often as possible.

Never a truer word spoken :-) Respect! +1

I am sorry to hear you had such a nasty pm. Unfortunately we cannot control what is sent via pm and strongly suggest that you use the blocking feature should anyone send you anything like that again.

Any comment like that made on the public boards would, certainly in my opinion, result in an immediate ban.

With so many different posters from so many different backgrounds on these boards you're are going to come across people who you wouldn't normally associate with. This is one of the strengths of these forums as well as one of its weaknesses. Most of the time we all get along. Those of us who volunteer as moderators do our best to balance the need for free speech with making all posters feel welcome. Its not an easy job, and there is no way we are going to make everyone happy.

+ 1
I did 2 years as a mod. It sure is full of stress. To be fair to the mods, They get it from the posters, From each other when they do have discussions on what should happen and from Fred if they do make a bad choice.

I still say the Café is getting to rowdy.
25) Message boards : Cafe SETI : This house that Seti built................ (Message 1767716)
Posted 26 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
Mark, I will add my 2 cents worth and say, The café has been getting rowdy. That's one reason I don't post in here like I use to.
I've seen to many personal attacks aimed at specific folks. Way to often.
And Yes I am guilty as charged also. Which is one of the reasons I don't post much on the main boards anymore.
Yes there are certain threads I keep an eye on. PTSD is one.
Politics is a free for all now. Even I don't like going there anymore.
26) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Dumbest thing I've done in a long time (Message 1767454)
Posted 25 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
Gee when I was small my Mum would
connect my mittens with a long thread
that went up one arm and down the other.
I remember that it was very hard to lose
my stuff after that....


OH I can remember those days of lost mittens, Even with a string through your arm holes:)
27) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Dumbest thing I've done in a long time (Message 1767223)
Posted 24 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
I see im not the lone member in this club then. I cant tell you how many lunch pails and the old glass thermos bottles have falling off the top of my car leaving my drive way. I finally broke down and bought the steel thermos. And yes I can show you the dents in that one also:)

To bad about the phone. Hope it didn't cost you to much on a replacement?
28) Message boards : Politics : We need vaccinations and boosters throughout our lives- About Whooping Cough (Message 1766834)
Posted 22 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
When I was in the U.S.A.F. I was on a team that was required to respond any where in the world on short notice. So our shots had to be kept up to date. We had to have the yellow fever shot But I belive that was good for ten years. How ever the Cholera shot was every six months, That would make my shoulder extremely sore for a week.
I believe in vaccinations and booster shots. As I operate a CNC machine Its a rare week I don't get cut at least once. I make sure my tetanus is up to date. And what with whooping cough making a comeback I will see if my insurance will cover that shot also. I don't need to get and or be a carrier of it.
29) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Never knew Simon & Garfunkel were so talented (Message 1766443)
Posted 20 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
That girl is awesome. 5 years old and to have that much stamina to play drums? Id love to see her play in 15 years.
My drum heroes are Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. She just might be the next one.

Thanks for the link.
30) Message boards : Cafe SETI : PTSD 2 (Message 1765088)
Posted 15 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
It will be a few days before I will be able to post here as promised. Sadly another elephant has been lost locally to poachers. There are credible reports that those responsible may still be in the area and planning more and her herd are particularly vulnerable. They are visiting her carcass daily, so need to be closely tracked round the clock. It is also going to be necessary to separate her traumatised calf from the group if he is going to survive. All of this stretches resources very thinly, so it's a matter of giving our rangers as much support as possible. My apologies (also for taking the thread off topic).

I have no problems with your post at all.
You have explained why you cant post your thoughts right away.
31) Message boards : Cafe SETI : PTSD 2 (Message 1764573)
Posted 13 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
There are those that clearly need to be helped, those that are willing to be helped, and sadly those that are not.

So far we have had those affected by this give their side, and those of us not affected give our thoughts upon trying to be supportive. What we really need is someone from the counselling side to get an overall balanced view.

I doubt that we would ever have that happen, But ones input would be nice to hear.
As Now im a lot older and supposedly wiser. I wish I had seeked out a support group after My second wife was killed in a car wreck. It would have saved me a lot of second guessing my emotions. And after talking with others who have suffered the death of a spouse. Emotions play a big part. They run the gamut. Nice to finally know that its normal.
And Don does bring up a great point. But with just one flaw. Yes its great talking with others who have been there and done that. The flaw part is, As just regular folks we don't know how to heal the hurt. That's where the Pro comes in.
But then Ive never been to one. Maybe I should have. It could have vastly sped the whole healing process up.
32) Message boards : Cafe SETI : PTSD 2 (Message 1764295)
Posted 12 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
And then there is my case.
Chased my brother by phone and car to try to help him some 38 years ago.
I still, I guess, have no solace for that.
He jumped off of a bridge moments before I got there, and hit the railroad tracks below.
And then the authorities took me to the morgue to do the 'positive identification' bit.

PTSD....I suppose I have it. And unrecoverably so. You cannot take those images of that day out of my mind, ever. Not until the day that the Lord above pulls the plug on my earthly existence.

And then, I hope to see and hold him again.
That is one of things that sustains me.

You do have PTSD. Is there a cure for it? I don't think so. I thinks its just accepting that you have to deal with it.
And yes those images will never go away. The bad part is they never fade either.
33) Message boards : Cafe SETI : PTSD 2 (Message 1764289)
Posted 12 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
But we are concentrating a bit here on PTSD caused by incidents within the emergency services. PTSD can be caused by many traumas in private life as well.[/quote]

Quite true. I have seen a guy get hit by a car and watched him cartwheel thru the air while off duty. Ive seen a 3 year old girl get thrown out the back of a vans back window because she wasn't strapped in a car seat while the caregiver ran a red light, While off duty.
So Id say the average citizen gets to see some of the mayhem that happens.

Plus lets not forget domestic abuse. For the spouse and the kids who have to witness it. That's a hell I would not want to go through.
34) Message boards : Cafe SETI : When you were just a young setibrat, what kind of music did your family listen to on your radio/stereo/music player? (Message 1764007)
Posted 11 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
I still have my parents' two or three shelves of classical records. I should try to sell them one of these days. None of it ever interested me, but eventually I discovered they also had a couple of Alan Sherman records and a Tom Lehrer. Those I loved, not for the music but for the humor.

Exposure to their classical music, however much I didn't like it, did at least give me some appreciation for PDQ Bach, enabling me to catch humor that others might miss.

My thing is classic rock from the 60s and 70s, plus later releases from the artists who were active then. Not heavy or hard stuff. Beatles, Who, Stones, Billy Joel, Styx...

And I'm not really passionate about anything. I can't remember the last time I bought any music for myself, but whatever it was, it was probably PDQ or Weird Al or Capitol Steps. I am ethical enough not to steal music, but not moved enough by anything to buy it.

I was total rock only. But then I heard some classical music. WOW.

I also love new age jazz. Vangelis and Kitaro or my top guys for that.
35) Message boards : Cafe SETI : PTSD 2 (Message 1764006)
Posted 11 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
Correct Rob, and to put it into a context that fire fighters, ambulance service personnel, and police can relate to, that is also used at multiple pileups on motorways. Some will be less injured than others and will basically survive if stabilised, others are in need of emergency treatment there and then, some will be just too far gone for any medical help to be given, some will be already deceased. Decisions have to be taken to save the majority of lives that can be saved.

Then you have the grisly task of recovering what's left of those those that didn't make it. It just amazes me that these guys can turn up for work each day, knowing what they might face, and that many more of them don't end up with PTSD.

Your last paragraph hits the nail on the head.

Edit- And then you wonder what if we could have got there faster? or what if I could have found her first?
Nothing could have been done either faster or being found first. They were already gone. I know that. But its the what ifs that eat you. And I will tell you that is the hardest part of letting go.
I believe its self inflicted guilt. The idea is to save lives not see them die. Or worse pick up the badly burned body. Or even worse pick up the pieces.
36) Message boards : Cafe SETI : PTSD 2 (Message 1763622)
Posted 9 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
Well It has helped me to tell in here. Much more than I realized when I first opened this thread. I realized I had PTSD. That was a game changer for me right there. MY wife does know what Ive been through and my kids and parents also/ Just not the details. If they ever ask I will tell them. But. They might not want to hear it all. It still might be the case of only telling them what they need to know?
My wife is amazed that I don't fly off the handle anymore. Some of you now my fuel pump died and then a few months later my transmission died. My wife asked me why aren't you ticked off. I think ive finally learned that crap happens. Hey it still sucks that it happened and Im not happy about it . But getting pissed off and yelling and screaming wont fix it. So I don't.
And you know what. I like being relaxed:)
37) Message boards : Politics : George Bush and the National Guard (Message 1763385)
Posted 8 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
I've never understood why more push wasn't made to subpoena the original documents from the military.

Daddy?


Well, yes, but how could he have that much power?

Maybe it was all BS?
38) Message boards : Cafe SETI : When you were just a young setibrat, what kind of music did your family listen to on your radio/stereo/music player? (Message 1763384)
Posted 8 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
We had a radio and record player as long as I can remember. I remember my dad bringing home a Johnny Cash album. One of the songs was Ring of Fire on it.
Also had a radio. He liked listening to The Grand ole oprey. But my mom liked what was popular in the early 1950's It wasn't until I had a radio of my own that I rember hearing the monster mash that I liked early rock in roll. And then the 60's came now there was the music I loved.
39) Message boards : Cafe SETI : PTSD 2 (Message 1763383)
Posted 8 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
When you have PTSD people despise you. And tell you so. Its better to be yourself than to pretend to be someone else. Let those who criticize you go drown themselves for being the callous back holes they are. Let them pretend to be whoever they want. But you need to be yourself not another one of them. If they don't like it, tough.

Which is why most people who have it
dont talk about it. And I myself think that is wrong. Its a disservice to all who suffer from it. And the public needs to be educated about what it is. And dispel the rotten myths that the media continues to perpetuate.
But Im guilty of not speaking out myself. My family only knows little snippets of what I have seen. I find I can only really talk to other Firefighters who have seen what Ive seen.
Ive posted in this thread more than Ive ever told my wife or my kids or my parents. Is that good or bad?

I am who I am now because of the things I went though. I think I have mellowed out a lot because of that.
40) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Never knew Simon & Garfunkel were so talented (Message 1762131)
Posted 4 Feb 2016 by Profile James SotherdenProject donor
I would add a link. But as this is OzzFans thread I don't want to go off topic.


By all means, share. I don't mind thread drift.

Thank you OzzFan.
I love this song by Harry Chapin. TAXI
I heard him doing a radio interview that at one time he did drive a taxi. And that was his motivation for righting the song.
He has done a few songs about being lonely. His WOLD and the Cats in the cradle sure seem lonely to me.

I find that most covers leave a lot to be desired. I give you Josie Feleicianos light my fire as the worst I can think of offhand. However Joe Cockers rendition of the Beattles I get buy with a little help from my friends was liked very much by John and Paul. I too think its a better.


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