“Stardate: 1434.5.” Not being a Trekkie, and therefore not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, I think that’s how every Star Trek episode began. With some rather primitive special effects. Primitive, that is, when compared to a modern day, CGI point of reference. And then there was Captain James T. Kirk’s voice-over providing context, “Captain’s log, stardate 1434.5. Our destination is Sigma Iota II.”
I always loved the exotic names those Star Trek writers pinned on their planets; Cerberus II; Altair IV; Sakura Prime. But I often wondered, “What the heck’s a stardate anyway?”
So I looked it up.
According to Wikipedia, stardates are completely arbitrary. They don’t have real significance. Other, that is, than to keep the viewer from sensing a pattern, establishing an actual date, and then announcing, “There’s no way a tricorder’s going to be invented by then!” Hence the random sequencing of stardates.
But you know what? There’s something else interesting about Captain Kirk’s voice-over. Something that each one of us can learn from.
And that is, Captain Kirk keeps a log. Imagine that! Somewhere out there, sometime in the 23rd century, there’s a captain of a sophisticated and advanced space vessel dutifully jotting down a travel log. Which, kind of, raises the question. Does Kirk actually have a log book? One made of paper and cardboard? And does he use an old-fashioned pencil too, to post his entries? Or is the log more of a futuristic, automated type of gizmo. With accelerometers and geo-fences, and God knows what else, that monitors and records every little degree of movement? You know, like an iPhone?
But never mind all that.
Because the point (and yes, it is taking me a long time to get to it) is that even Federation captains keep a log. And the bigger, more important point is that you should too. Especially, that is, if you’re claiming any sort of vehicle expense on your tax return.
Yes, I know. You’ve heard it all before. And no matter how often someone tells you about the importance of a vehicle log, it remains something you simply haven’t gotten around to. Sort of like going to gym. Or cleaning out the rain gutters.
There are, though, huge benefits to keeping a vehicle log. Monetary ones. For example, with a vehicle log, you’ll be sure to maximize the car expenses you can write off on your tax return. And with a log, you minimize the risk of having the tax folk (your silent partner that I mentioned in a prior post) disallow some, or all, of your vehicle expenses. So yeah, a vehicle log’s pretty important. Even if it is, at the same time, mundane and pedantic.
But hey, if you’re one of those Trekkie or techie types, I’ve got good news!
There are all kinds of high-tech solutions for tracking your mileage. Just download an app to your mobile device and let technology take care of it all for you. If you’re on an iPhone, check out these solutions. If, on the other hand, you’re an Androidite, then take a look at these..
So there you go. Now you can be the Captain Kirk of your business. Just do me a favour, deep-six the voice-over. And that weird stardate thing too.