Story 5Nov2022: Guy Fawkes 2022/Time Change

As is my usual practice, I am writing the Saturday blog on Sunday morning. It is a times change night (for the USA), and also Saturday was Guy Fawkes Day which I only know from a favorite movie: V for Vendetta. Now that we are beyond Halloween, the USA will change time which is very unpopular and will likely stop in the future. California has not agreed to stop the change, but the other Western states have, but until all agree, we will continue with the time changes. California, Oregon, and Washington align most time and drug policies (or lack thereof).

As usual, the pain in my right leg is better after I asked the doctor to get me some help; Physical Therapy for me. I have to work on scheduling all the medical stuff next week. My arm still hurts from the Pneumovax shot on Thursday–that is one wicked shot. But bacteria pneumonia is terrible, so I will endure some discomfort.

Going backward, I went to bed at about 11ish (actually 10PM after the change). I had trouble sleeping, but not as bad as the previous days. I watched a movie to relax after hours of paperwork on HBOMAX: See How They Run. It was a goofy British comedy set in the 1950s and a who-done-it. The accents get me a bit, but I enjoyed this insane film based on making a movie on Agatha Christie’s Mouse Trap.

I had a dinner of Triscuit crackers and some cheese spread, pub cheese. I had a large lunch and spent the evening sitting and pushing paper; nothing to work up an appetite.

Before this, instead of playing exciting and new board games with Richard and friends, I stayed home and did five hours of paperwork until I could not see straight. I had rushed the last two Saturdays, and I felt a bit manic and exhausted after that. So today, I would go slower and start to prepare for a tricky tax process and complex tax-efficient plan for next year.

I managed to work on paperwork from the late afternoon until 9ish. I have every transaction from August through October properly booked in Quicken, and paper copies of these transactions are hole-punched and placed in a notebook. This includes pay stubs from Nike, bank statements, investment statements, and summaries printed–all punched and literally booked. I have all of this done from May 2022. I still need to identify all the medical expenses from Jan-Apr and payments and reimbursements from my medical spending account to exclude from my write-off of medical expenses. I also need paper records to prove this, as I am likely facing an audit as the IRS will want proof. But I needed to finish the last few months before taking on the first third of 2022. Done!

My taxes will be done by a local CPA this year! I need paper for everything. A printed spreadsheet of the medical expenses by month with types is yet to be done and is required. Susie and I used to run our household like this; it is familiar.

I have also connected all the accounts, including the new bank for transfers and loans, into Quicken. I plan to execute a loan from my 401K next week once the bank account is official (it takes three biz days) and I have a checkbook for it. This loan will not 1) increase my income, 2) the loan will not increase my tax liability, 3) while debt, it is not official debt and is not reported to credit agencies, 4) and I can sell stock to pay it off if needed. Every day I can see the transactions (401K and IRA balances are manually maintained).

But I broke even last month. Even with the substantial medical expenses, I could eke out a profit. I have paid off Air Volvo, eliminated over-priced cable services, slowed costs at the house as it is just me now, no capital improvements in the house, and, sadly, have not gone on any expensive trips. This has me breaking even. Better.

Enough on paperwork–you, dear reader, have likely fallen asleep by now.

Before this and a trip to Office Depot for more notebooks, I spent the late morning and early afternoon with Susie. The river of rain had stopped, but the temperature was still in the high 40s and low 50s (10-12C) with Oregon mist and light rain. Not go-outside weather for Susie in a wheelchair. Off to Washington Square Mall, only minutes from the Humminbird house.

We enjoyed the slightly over-warm mall and made two circles inside the mall. I parked near Macy’s in the lower parking garage, out of the rain, and reached the doors without a short exposure to the shower. I do not have a handicapped sign for Air Volvo; all the spaces are used now, so I just looked for extra space out in the parking lot. I unload Susie into her wheelchair and then travel to the entrance without much trouble.

We found a Micky and Mini Mouse Advent Calendar for Susie to use in Hummingbird House. The staff can open a door with her each day as she starts her day. We found a cool t-shirt for her. We discovered that the cut flower stand had moved from the mall’s center; Santa is moving in next week, and the flower place is now by the cooking store–excellent. We looked at Christmas items and picked out a gift for David and Michelle Smith; Susie was happy to do some Christmas shopping.

We called Leta, Susie’s mother, from a bench in the mall. Leta and Susie had a friendly chat, and Susie seemed more animated today. She was weak, and her help getting in and out of Air Volvo was small but still there. Jennifer, the weekly nursing aide, is having Susie work on this a bit. It was an excellent time and felt like the old days, shopping in the mall.

We met Evan in the mall just as we were wrapping up. On the way out, we saw that Lens Crafters in Macy’s was not busy, and a heavily tattooed gal, Qunicy, repaired Susie’s glasses. Susie fell some months back and damaged her glasses–Quincy was able to make them like new again. I bought a glasses cleaning kit from Quincy, and she gave me her biz card. I gave her a good review later that evening.

Evan headed to Beaverton to meet me for lunch, and I took Susie back to the hummingbird house. Jennifer was happy to see Susie loaded with loot and with fixed glasses. Finally, Susie was ready for some lunch and maybe a nap. I kissed her goodbye.

I managed to drop off my ballot in the box in Beaverton: Voting is done! I crossed Beaverton with no incidents, but I saw some creative use of lane changing, all at slow speeds.

Parking was difficult as Saturday is the fabulous Farmer’s Market in Beaverton Old Town. However, I managed to find a spot four blocks away. The sky had cleared (just for a while), and it was a pleasant walk.

Top Burmese Bistro Royale was my selection for lunch. We were inside, and their robots deliver your food (really) and drinks. Evan and I shared some Golden Samosas, and then I had their beef curry (a small bowl) with pita bread. The beef in the curry is marinated in yogurt. I had to try that; excellent with a good balance of salt and spices–the meaty taste was not lost in the noise of spices. Perfect. Evan tried noodle items that he made disappear and tried my curry too. I could barely finish the little bowl!

I said goodbye to Evan and headed off to my hours of paperwork.

Moving to the morning, I slept until nearly 8ish and had cereal with sliced banana and milk with liberal coffee. I wrote the blog for Friday, did the dishes, finished the laundry, and collected the mail. I tried to keep everything low-key.

I took Air Volvo to the local Shell station and watched as the gas price slipped to $5.09 (and lower in other places). I watched them change the sign while I was filling up.

Aside: Here is PBS’s report:

For example, ExxonMobil pulled in nearly $20 billion in profit. Chevron took in more than $11 billion, Shell $9.5 billion, BP over eight billion. And, today, the world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, reported making $42 billion this quarter.

I have nothing more to say to people who tell me it is the government’s fault that gas prices are high and that we should not tax oil companies. Those profits are for the previous quarter. It is not a supply issue but a price policy (if it was a supply issue, the gains would not be there–you can sell what you don’t have). Growl! Snap! Angry words here.

Well, I hate to end on an oil comment, but that brings us to my story’s end for Saturday. The rains are calming for Saturday, but Sunday will be wet, and Monday could be slushy (snow!). My grass is almost green again. I have a bag of grass seed for some areas I wish to return to grass (my lawn service seems to love edging too much), but at the moment, I think the seed would float away. So it might have to wait until summer!

The tulips are buried in gooey muck, but being from Holland stock, I suspect that is normal for them. The bloom on Mister Lincoln was beaten off the rose by the rain! Yes, it is back to normal here!

Thanks for reading.

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