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Monday, April 11, 2005

It was a day of low-grade good news around here. My tax returns were accepted by both the IRS and the state of California. And I got my new driverís license.

The tax preparation program notified me that the returns were accepted, but I still had to access the site and print the final instructions, plus copies of everything. As always, I do what Iím told. The federal tax return was 8 pages long. The state tax return was 27 pages long.

This is typical of California, which likes to think of itself as a little more independent than other states. We are better than you, and we donít mind telling you about it. We are the vanguard; all trends start here. Donít mess with California, because we can buy and sell at least 47 other states. You have to store your federal tax returns for three years, right? Well, Californians have to keep their state returns for four years. So there.

Anyway, itís done, and I didnít have to mail anything to anyone (not even the state tax board). I have copies of everything, and believe me, Iím not going to be audited. It appears my partnership in The Kennel didnít affect my taxes in any way, positively or negatively. I just had to report it, and that was all. And my charitable contributions, as much as they seemed to me when I was writing the checks, didnít amount to as much as the standard deduction Iíve always taken. No itemizing needed.

What a big relief, though, to have this behind me. And still with four days left before the deadline, too. Thatís so unlike me.

4 April 2005

Clustering clouds.

The good news about my driverís license is that the photo isnít nearly as bad as Iíd feared. Oh, sure, itís still a driverís license photo, so thereís no way it can be the least bit flattering, but when Window Ten at the DMV asked me to look down when he took my picture so that the flash wouldnít reflect off my glasses, I was totally prepared for the worst. Maybe thatís what makes the actual photo seem not so bad.

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Tonightís episode of 24 had a planet-of-the-apes moment that nudged the phrase ďjump the sharkĒ into the back of my mind. But it redeemed itself by being the most watchable episode of the season so far. Why? Because it was focused (mostly) on one heart-stopping sequence of events. Iíll take all the plot holes and clichťs you want to throw at me if youíre going to give me thrills like that.

Recent recommendations can be found on the links page.

One year ago: New World
"Tammy thinks Aiden will be born in May, although the due date is in June."

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