bunt sign

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

After work yesterday afternoon I was headed out to the garage for my gardening tools, but it was not to be. When I picked up my gloves, I wondered why they were wet. Then I wondered why they were slimy. Then I threw them down.

After I stopped shuddering and making faces, I picked them up and threw them in the washing machine, with soap and hot water. Later I realized that nothing I could do would get them dry before it was too dark to work, so I hung them out in a (hopefully) slime-free zone and gave up on gardening for the day.

See how easily I'm discouraged? But I made the best out of it. I set my two of my new garden chairs in a patch of sunlight in the garage and stretched out with a book. After about five minutes of this, I came in the house and put on a sweatshirt, then went back out and tried it again.

Today as I was on my morning errand run, I managed to make it into Target and find some gloves on sale. While I was nosing around the garden department, I saw something else I've been thinking I needed, especially after coming in from weeding with wet patches on my jeans a few times. So I bought kneepads.

We'll see if I ever get around to using the kneepads. I have a feeling I will, although I also bought dust masks a while back and haven't used them yet.

This afternoon after my work day was through I went outside to putter and decided that the new gloves, being leather and all, were much too fine for the job. I used the old cloth gloves.

Unfortunately, that's the last weeding I'll be able to do until after they pick up the yard waste container Friday morning. It's full, and so dense I can't even tamp it down to make more room. The patch I cleared out looks better, but it's a tiny drop in the bucket. I wonder if I'll ever get anywhere with this project.

It's been suggested to me that the only answer is to hire someone with a tractor to clear out the yard, and then start from the ground up. The way things are getting away from me, I'm starting to be convinced that's right.

This business of being without a cordless phone is getting old, and it's only been since the weekend. Yesterday afternoon I was up in the loft reading when the phone rang, and all I could do was run not-quite-headlong down the stairs and answer the old-fashioned stuck-in-one-spot phone breathlessly. It was a hang-up, probably a wrong number. I get too many of those.

Some of the time I've been able to call out on the cordless, but I can't answer it. No matter how hard I push the button, nothing happens (except that I start grinding my teeth and muttering mean things about Mr. Panasonic's heritage).

The manual said to try unplugging the unit and plugging it back in. That didn't work. It said to try cleaning the battery contacts. That didn't work, either. It said (in so many words) to go to Best Buy and spend a lot of money and wait in line for the "service" clerk while fourteen other registers sit unused.

They did have replacement batteries, which cost about one-tenth as much as a whole new phone. I'm trying that approach for now. I'll let the new battery charge overnight, and then tomorrow morning all will be sunshine and lollipops. Either that, or I'll have to go back to Best Buy and spend the big bucks. I wouldn't even mind that much, if they made it easier to give them money, instead of opening only enough registers to keep people from stomping out and never coming back (like that's gonna happen).

Then this afternoon, to round things out, the document feeder on the copier stopped working. Oh, man, I have to lift the lid and place the originals on the glass one by one. What a bother.

I think I might have slammed the lid down too hard one time. I think that might be what happened to the copier. I don't know if that's what I'm going to tell Bruce the copier guy, though. He'll charge me the same whether he thinks I'm an idiot or not. Better to keep still than remove all doubt.

When I finally got around to figuring my taxes tonight, I came to the sickening realization that I didn't have the California state tax booklet. For a split second I thought about not filing, since they've obviously lost track of me. But I downloaded Form 540 and began filling it out.

It didn't come with the instructions (that was a separate and much larger download), but the form was so similar to last year's that I just followed along with my 1999 return. That worked fine until it came time to figure out my actual tax, and I had to go back online and download the tax table.

It turns out I have to pay both the federal and state governments more money, beyond what was withheld from my paycheck all last year. It comes to a sizable amount, too, almost as much as a week's take-home pay. I didn't leave myself any time to save up, since it's all due next Monday, so it's a good thing I have a credit card I can borrow from. It's a good thing and a bad thing, usually, but this week it's a good thing.

another new one

It's a frustrating time for Mom to be sick, since she just got over her eye surgery enough that she can drive again. She drove herself to the doctor today and got some antibiotics to knock out the bug that's keeping her down. I'd like to say we're seeing her through this latest crisis, but she's doing most of the work herself. She takes good care of herself, so we can expect her to be up and running soon.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendation:

Steve is doing yard work, too, but he's paying a price (in more ways than one, apparently).

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.