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don&penny

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About don&penny

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    Seattle
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    Retiring

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  1. I can't argue with the fairness issue, but I don't see any real advantage to kicking the non-deployables out. To use Mattis's example - you have, say 100,000 service members and you need to deploy 100,000 personnel. 10% (10,000) are "non-deployable", leaving the other 90,000 to be deployed more often (or longer per deployment). If you kick the non-deployables out you now have 90,000 deployable members that you will have to send out more often or for longer deployments. I suppose the benefit is, the non-deployable people that are kicked out won't have to be paid. We had a similar problem back in the 1970's when I was in the navy. Women were not allowed to be stationed on combatant ships. Ratings that had significant numbers of shore billets allowed women to carry those ratings and they were always in shore billets, making for fewer shore billets available for men that could be stationed on combatant ships. Hence the men were unfairly required to be stationed aboard ship longer/more often and deployed on cruises more often/longer. That problem didn't affect me, since I was in a rating that was only used aboard combatants (except for training commands for that particular rating). At least those issues are no longer problems, now that women can be stationed on combatant ships. Don
  2. don&penny

    NPS Proposes Fee Increase at 17 National Parks

    Having worked in Yellowstone the last 4 summers and recognizing that the national parks were established for "the citizens to enjoy" I'd like to see the entry fees for non US citizens increased and no annual passes for non citizens. Based on personal observation, a large portion of the daily maintenance time is devoted to correcting (cleaning) overseas guest's messes (standing on toilet seats when using restrooms, throwing TP behind the toilets rather than in them, using restrooms as kitchens, etc.). Granted, much of this is due to differences in how things are done in different countries, but the cost is still borne by the parks. Obviously, the big bucks have to be spent on big projects (roads, infrastructure, etc.), but keeping up with the guests requires a great deal of effort. At Yellowstone, they have reduced law enforcement ranger staffing to an absolute minimum due to cost. As others have said here - it's would still be cheap compared to private recreation industry costs. Don
  3. don&penny

    Campgrounds near Seattle

    I don't have information regarding any specific campground in or around Seattle. When I come into town to do our physicals and such, we stay at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. It is not a long term stay location and they don't have discounts for longer stays (not even weekly). Don
  4. don&penny

    Campgrounds near Seattle

    Given that you're willing to drive up to 90 minutes one way, you could consider living as far away as Ellensberg, just east of the cascades on I-90. I worked with a guy in Seattle that did that. Bellevue is closer than where we worked. At times the pass can be closed due to snow, so that would be a consideration too. At least it would increase the number of places you could stay and probably improve the cost of living. Don
  5. You might consider "slowly" converting your traditional 401(k) money over to a Roth 401(k) (if your company provides/allows that option) or roll it over to a traditional IRA then "slowly" convert that to a Roth IRA. Either way, you will pay income tax on the amount you convert to a Roth as you do so, but will ultimately end up with it all available as tax free money when you withdraw it to use. I emphasize "slowly" so that you don't push yourself into a higher tax bracket when you do the conversion. It is legal to convert just a portion of your money each year and you can define the amount when you do it, thus letting you control your adjusted gross income to avoid the higher tax bracket. The other benefit to the Roth is - if you find you do not need the money, there are no RMD's (Required Minimum Distributions) for you or your heirs, as there are on traditional accounts. The one draw back would be, if you need the money you roll over before 5 years have passed since you first deposited the money into the Roth account, you would have to pay taxes on the earnings too, but otherwise you do not pay taxes on the Roth earnings when you withdraw the money. Don
  6. don&penny

    Condensation problem

    Many times it's a circulation problem. Keeping the closet doors open and perhaps a small fan circulating the air may help. Dry-z-air might also help. Don
  7. don&penny

    Verizon Killing 2 year contracts

    Our original 2 year contract ran out last spring. I waited until fall to upgrade my phone and actually added an additional phone to my account. No contract (they don't do them anymore), free phone(s) and total monthly cost is virtually the same as before, when we only had one phone. Don
  8. don&penny

    Federal lands Senior pass going from $10 to $80+

    Of course, if one takes a 2 week trip up there they could just buy an annual pass for $80 and get into all national parks at no additional cost for the next 12 months. Don
  9. don&penny

    Best interiors

    You could choose to buy from a custom build RV manufacturer like New Horizons, Spacecraft, etc. That way you get the layout you want, made from the best materials and built to suit you. It will cost more than high output assembly line units though. Don
  10. don&penny

    Domicile analysis

    I just came across an article that has some interesting information about changing domiciles from California to other states, which might be of some value in this discussion. Its more generally about the exodus of Californians due to the extension of the 13.3% state income tax bracket for CA citizens who are high income earners. Quote - California’s tough Franchise Tax Board (FTB) polices the line between residents and non-residents, and does so rigorously. Like other high tax states, California is likely to probe how and when you stopped being a resident. For that reason, even if you think your facts are not controversial, be careful. A California resident is anyone in the state for other than a temporary or transitory purpose. It also includes anyone domiciled in California who is outside the state for a temporary or transitory purpose. The burden is on you to show that you are not a Californian. If you’re in California for more than 9 months, you are presumed to be a resident. Yet if your job requires you to be outside the state, it usually takes 18 months to be presumed no longer a resident. Your domicile is your true, fixed permanent home, the place where you intend to return even when you’re gone. Many innocent facts might not look to be innocent to California’s tax agency. Unquote Full article here - http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2016/11/21/as-trump-tax-cuts-emerge-high-13-3-california-tax-spells-exodus/#35a459b627f3 Don
  11. don&penny

    NPS Considering Limiting Crowding in Zion NP

    My wife and I have worked in Yellowstone the last three summers. I agree, I'd like to see something done and shuttles would reduce traffic considerably. One of the logistical problems is the campgrounds. Unless they eliminate the campgrounds, they won't be able to close the park to privately owned vehicles (although, they could change the campgrounds to "tent only" I suppose). If they would start imposing heavy fines on anyone breaking the rules (driving or otherwise) and maybe even give authority to all workers in the park to ticket violators (where photographic proof of the violation is available), they could have enough income to implement whatever it takes. Don
  12. don&penny

    Shore plug protectant

    Rather than buying a dummy plug, you might consider making a polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) plug, with a drain hole at the bottom. You could either make it in one piece from a thick piece of material or two pieces (a ring and a cap) glued together. Either way, a bolt through the middle, with some slop in length, would give you a handle to pull it out. You could even attach a lanyard to the bolt and one of the receptacle attachment screws so it is always near the receptacle and would have to be installed before you drove away. Don
  13. don&penny

    Bumper Pull Hitches-Help Please!

    Physics says - the weight on the hitch is the weight on the hitch. How it's distributed forward of the hitch is a separate issue. Weight distribution hitches simply transfer some of the load that's on the hitch and would be on the rear axle, to the front axle. Don
  14. don&penny

    South Dakota "Residens"

    Yes it's true. Since SD has no state income tax, there are no state income tax forms to fill out. Of course, you will have to pay state income taxes to MD, on the money you earned there. Don
  15. don&penny

    taxed on value of free site?

    Not if it's done as we have experienced. The cost of the site is deducted before taxes, so it's equivalent to being paid for every hour of work plus a free site, though our hourly wage is effectively lower due to the deduction (which can equate to a wage lower than the federal minimum wage, depending on how much is charged for the site). Don
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