Good morning. Hello. How are you? #570
Some reasons people like 1-person LLCs, some stuff about David Attenborough and Dinosaurs, a conspiracy about the insurance industry, drama club nostalgia and so on.
Good morning. Hello. How are you? I am okay. Okay that’s a lie, I am pissed because our much-vaunted four-to-eight inches of snow turned into less than one inch, and how boring is that? It’s kind of pretty, but… nah. Man I was looking forward to breaking my back shoveling snow, in some sort of manic penance-cum-nostalgia bout that reminded me of my childhood except not really because in Alaska we were not animals and we owned big, powerful snow blowers. We even had an exclusive, roof-only snow blower that never left the roof of the house.
Got the better part of my big work presentation done yesterday, which was very impressive because my meetings were precisely spread out through the day to make it virtually impossible to do anything, given that you don’t get a single block of uninterrupted time longer than an hour. And to be honest it’s not 100% done, but the hard part is done: wrangled all the finances, did all the normalizing between accrual and cash and all the weird specific-ways we calculate finances and turned them into something simple and comprehensible by the employees, got the bulk of the slides done, etc. etc. Also got our new D&O insurance application done, and if any of you out there are working on D&O renewals in this climate, my heart goes out to you, because it is one of those industries that’s decided that this is the year they’re just going to screw everyone over and double their rates, which probably happens every decade or so for no good reason other than, well we need revenue growth, dammit. Every year, a different segment of your insurance portfolio is going through the roof. The industry just rotates through which policy is going to go ballistic, so it seems like it’s all related to current events, but it never really is. Before this it was cyber insurance. Two, three years of exploding cyber insurance rates, not really tied to an increase in any sort of cyber crime, because that shit always happened, but the news reports were catching on, so we may as well take that opportunity to boost the rates. This is, of course, hyperbole, somewhat, but also, I would wager, mostly true.
Dear Spotify: Please filter anything that has the word “remix” or “live” or “re-master” from my release radar. They are not really new. On the fence about “demo” but leaning towards filter those out as well.
Emma and I finished The Expanse last night, which was a decent, solid ending, though I am still kinda pissed they’re just ending it, but whatever. I will go read the books. At least they stuck the landing on the ending, let’s give them props for that. Then we started Station Eleven and we were both immediately engrossed, so yeah, thanks for that, everyone. I worry it’ll be a bit too “the play’s the thing / where I’ll catch the conscience of the king,” but I mean, I guess that’s fine, maybe the play is the thing, who’s to say? Was I ever really any more happy than I was when I was in drama club? A debatable proposition. I still view that 1988 Bye Bye Birdie cast party as one of my life’s formative events, so sure, why not.
Got some good feedback on my question about one-person LLCs yesterday. I don’t think anything swayed me in any way, personally, but I can definitely see a few instances where they would be necessary. Also got a few emails confirming my suspicious that, in many cases, they are pretty useless to many people. BUT:
One friend said that in the state in which he lives (Washington), he found a group benefits provider that would provide him with health insurance at a much lower rate than the Obamacare exchange, provided he a) had a LLC, and b) paid himself via W-2. After a second year of being paid via W-2, he had even more options. This is an interesting one, because the primary reason *I* would consider a personal LLC is if someday Emma and I are back in the position of both being freelancers, and we need health insurance. I checked this back in the day and Justworks and most PEOs don’t let you do this, which I knew, but I never, like, checked with the smaller mom-and-pop group benefits providers here in my state, so it could conceivably be worth it. I also don’t know how much he saved, and compare that to the cost of maintaining an LLC in your state, and the general legal and regulatory hassle, so it may or may not be worth it for you, especially if you live in a state that has its shit together about health care — and by that I mean Massachusetts.
One person told me they got awesome tickets for a big tennis tournament through a small business offering that required an EIN to get through, kinda like when you’re buying a ticket on Ticketmaster and need a Chase card. I thought that was interesting, but I have a bunch of other EINs handy, so it wouldn’t be an obstacle for me.
A few people mentioned specific credit cards and other financial products that one could get if they had an LLC, but they didn’t mention any specific, thrillingly generous benefits, so, not sure how great that is. Also wouldn’t be enough to feel worth it for me, personally.
One person told me it opened them up to better 401ks and other retirement planning products, which does seem kind of interesting? Maybe? But when I am freelancing I am quite fond of the SEP plan I already have, which I come back to and re-fill whenever I am a freelancer.
One person made a really good point, which is that some companies have really stupid rules where if you’re a solo person and you’re doing work for them, you need to be an employee, and they can’t hire you after a certain amount of time, but if you have an LLC, they can work around it. Emma has almost come up against this rule in the past, but the client has found ways to work around it, because of course technically, no company legally needs you to have an EIN to be a contrator, and the law certainly does not stipulate it, but if your bread-and-butter client got to this point and insisted on it, I think of course it would make sense.
Anyway, that’s the round-up. Not enough for me to do it, with the possible exception of the health care, which would need more research, but also I would do it with Emma so it wouldn’t technically be solo, but that is a cop-out.
David Attenborough, aged 95, is making his next film about the North Dakota dinosaur fossil field discovered by Robert DePalma and his team. You may rememebr Robert DePalma as the star of the 2019 New Yorker article, “The Day the Dinosaurs Died,” which was fantastic and made you think it was perhaps the most startling discovery ever, and we all talked about it for a day or two, you may remember it, but then, like, not much ever really happened with it beyond that. Despite the objections of certain publications that we needed to kill the trope of the solo heroic archeologist, and maybe the article was full of shit because the press came out before the paper, and who was this guy he was from a shitty second-tier university, I was taken enough with the article to slap a Google Alert on DePalma’s name, to keep tabs on the mysteries the article laid out.
Anyway, since that New Yorker article, the general sense has been that DePalma’s finding was as important as the New Yorker thought back then, that it’s made profound contributions to our understanding of the timing and nature of the death of the dinosaurs, and the science was all on the up-and-up, even if they were a bit uncouth in their exact prim-and-proper publication path. And now Sir David is going to make a movie about it and I am here for it.
Good shit, Google Alerts. Thank you.
I think that’s about it for today. Life continues. Still losing weight. Talked to an old friend yesterday for the first time since the pandemic started, that was lovely. My neighbors are paying their HOA dues I am a good little HOA treasurer. Ford still hasn’t sent me my Lightning order link yet. Aetna has decided my account doesn’t exist on their website, AGAIN. They drive me crazy.
Moody and Quiet mix today, volume 57, man I really can’t get enough of Moody and Quiet mixes, more Moody and Quiet mixes, I can’t satisfy my need for Moody and Quiet mixes! Was just talking to Drekka last night, he is going on tour this spring (Covid pending) and hopefully I can go see him at Duke. Not usually a big Big Thief fan but I really like this new song. Really like the sad new Phosphorescent song a lot more than all that happy C’Est La Vie stuff that was fun live but didn’t really suit my life mood, you know whast I mean? And I was thinking the other day about my time in The Texas Governor’s band and how much I enjoyed it, and how great of a songwriter he is, and how this song, especially, will always have a place in my heart. And I listened to the White Album a few days ago—supposedly my favorite Beatles album but probably hadn’t listened to it in its entirety in, like, ten years or something. It is still a good album. Except for maybe except for maybe that Honey Pie/Savoy Truffle part I could skip that. Also do you think that Spotify has “White Album” hard coded into the app because if you search for “White Album” you get the White Album even though nowhere does it say “White Album” on it. Mysterious.
Have a lovely weekend! Miss you! Talk Monday! Enjoy your snow! Except you Californians, no snow for you.