A satisfying long weekend -- 02/22/04

It was a long weekend due to my charging Friday as a vacation day.

Nancy and I went to the Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show on Friday. Parked in the Providence Place Mall parking ramp, crossed over to the Convention Center via the skybridge, enjoyed the show (including looking at an exhibit of four-season sunroom additions... a thought for a few years from now), had a late lunch back at the mall (a small deep-dish pizza for Nancy, fish and chips and Guinness for me), came home and managed to fritter away what remained of the afternoon with various task around the house. (A key task for me was taking a nap -- I'm not much on naps but after dashing out to pick up some fresh fish to cook for dinner, the shortage of sleep caught up with me.)

One result of a 6 pm nap was our evening meal postponed until almost eight-thirty... just Nancy and me... and after eating we just sat around drinking tea and talking and eating cookies Nancy had baked on Thursday. (Hmmm, too much eating... but can I plead that we had done lots of walking around the flower show?)

Saturday was a triumph! We did our taxes.

Usually this is something that -- through sheer distaste of the agony involved -- gets postponed and postponed, or gets begun early but then some key document is missing and then everything gets delayed. To a certain extent I think the postponement of this task is just because the overly complex stupidity of the tax laws gets me so angry that I want to avoid it. The whole thing could be so much simpler and still raise the same net amount of revenue, but the politicians (a polite word that really means filthy corrupt scumbag crooks) have added endless layers of loopholes and complexities, year after thieving year, in order to garner bribes (uh, I mean campaign contributions) and do favors to for their favorite special interests. Both parties, Democrats and Republicans, are guilty but I tend to curse the Democrats more because (1) through most of my life they have had a majority in Congress (although the Republicans are now in the majority and are just as busy in adding pork to the budget and special interest favors to the tax code) and also because (2) they are the ones who are always saying that taxes aren't high enough and they want to raise them.

However, this year I made a checklist of documents we would need and we made sure that they were all available (credit Nancy for most of this as she tends to handle most of the bill paying and the mail filing, etc.) and then I proclaimed Saturday to be Tax Day. In another departure from usual, Nancy joined me for the process. I have always been the tax person but Nancy decided that this year she wanted to work with me so that she could learn what this rather financially important thing was all about. Installed TurboTax 2003 and started into it. When we finished with our return (which took the bulk of the afternoon) and filed it electronically, we went on to do Jill's and Jeremy's returns as well (yeah, much quicker).

Naturally, as I sat here typing this, I remembered a twenty dollar charitable deduction I had forgotten about, but that's okay, the relief of being finished with this whole mess for another year. There will be enough opportunities to be angry with politicians during the rest of this election year. What a choice -- on the one hand a fiscally irresponsible Big Government Republican who seems in favor of significant expansion of federal control and power vs. whoever will be the eventual candidate from a collection of fiscally irresponsible Big Government Democrats who all seem in favor of significant expansion of federal control and power and who keep telling me that they want to increase my tax burden.

No, enough of such thoughts! The flower show was enjoyable, Nancy and I discussed some interesting plans after dinner on Friday, our taxes are done, it's actually above freezing outside, there's a mix of clouds and sun, the high is supposed to be around 41° (around 5° C) -- and I'm going to go enjoy the rest of my long weekend.

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