carbonless forms--work of the devil?

To understand this rant, you have to know that Washington state has just enacted a variation of the Uniform Parentage Act. Yes, that's right, a non-uniform uniform act that no lawyer I know pretends to understand. Among other things, the new statute dictates that the form used to acknowledge paternity of a child must change significantly.

Considering that the State has a vested interest in making sure that little babies all get walking wallets, er, fathers, attached to them, in order to reduce the likelihood that welfare paid on their behalf can't be recouped from the absent parent (not always, of course, the dad!), you would expect that the new paternity acknowledgement form would be all over every website in the state that has anything to do with kids, and that it would be as easy as pie to download.

You would expect that, but you would be wrong.

The form is a CARBONLESS form, folks, needs to be filled out in quadruplicate, and hence available at warm-and-fuzzy places like hospitals and DCS offices. Over the Internet? Available conveniently? Bite your tongue. No Internet-ready carbonless forms.

Of course, at the King County Recorder's Office you can download a PDF form for your Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit that replaces the clunky 8 1/2" x 14" carbonless form used until very recently. The KC Recorder has actually done wonderful things lately to bring themselves into the Internet age. You can look up deeds from your desktop, even if they do print out with "UNOFFICIAL" blazoned across them like the Scarlet Letter (although it's the Halftone Grey Letter on my printer, which doesn't have the same literary ring). The Recorder solved the carbonless form conundrum by--are you ready for this stroke of genius?--having the user print four copies of the form.

Obviously, there is more money in real estate than in the orderly establishment of parentage for small children. And that, my friends, is why the KC Recorder's website is so much better than that of DCS. Sigh. Happy Friday, all.


time matters as demon lover

Now, what do I mean by this?

DATATEXT.com, the Time Matters case management people, has souped up TM's email management capabilities in Service Release 3 to ver. 4.0, which I whiled away an indolent evening downloading @ 56K two nights ago.

It has had an email client as part of the program for, oh, about a year, and it's gotten to the point where it almost works.

However, after several days of intense experimentation, I conclude that it is still only a fancy front-end kludge to Outlook. And lousy as Outlook is, it does more than Time Matters in its email aspect. Funny, I just expected more from the nice people at DATATEXT.