24Feb2023: Taxing

The snow is beginning to melt, and the drive is improving. The solid-packed snow (ice) is finally disappearing from the major streets, but it is a hazard on any side street or shady area. The temperature did reach not cold, 45F (7C), and the grass, soil, rocks, and treated areas are clear. You can still find ice on wet sidewalks that will kill you if you are not careful walking. It seems safer to drive than to walk.

We have developed two styles of dress today, those who deny the reality of winter in t-shirts and summer shoes and those who embrace the winter and have coats, gloves, hats, and chains on their vehicles. I have gone both ways (as you dear readers would expect) with my coat and Air Force Ones and no traction devices on my all-weather tires on Air Volvo (automatic 4-wheel, anti-lock breaks, auto-breaking, and computer-assisted winter driving, WTF are the traction device for?!).

I also learned that a new gasoline XC60 is $55,000-70,000 now. Not quite twice what I bought Air Volvo for, but the electric one is slightly cheaper (?!) and would provide more tax credits in Oregon. Despite my desire to help pay for some of the sunk costs of an all-green infrastructure, I will continue using Air Volvo, as I need to cover $8,000 monthly in medical expenses. A new transportation medium will have to wait (The Van Electric is still a dream).

Today my CPA folks, Cornerstone Tax in Hillsboro, finished my taxes. I can reclaim over $20,000 in taxes (President Trump’s SALT changes still cost me $3,000 a year–I don’t blame him as he did what he said he would do) for 2022 to offset my expenses for Susie and my care last year. I am still building a portfolio of paperwork that is audit-proof. I don’t expect an audit, but I will be ready. Oregon, which excluded the SALT changes, was more generous than the Feds for a medical disaster (more than $100,000 in out-of-pocket expenses). My statements about SALT are mine and not from my CPA.

So the morning started, like most Fridays, with me sleeping in until 7ish. I then take the first two hours of meetings on Zoom (no camera). I also read emails, texts, and Slack messages to keep up. I read the news, and you can find me reading NYT details while listening to Zoom status meetings. Like most at-home employees, I can read and listen simultaneously (I do not play Candy Crush).

Once the meetings stopped, I did my complete set of excises and stretches. Unfortunately, I forgot the new list in Air Volvo, and with the snow, I was not headed out there in the snow and only a robe with slippers. So imagine if I slipped–better not imagine that, actually.

Next was the usual shower and dressing. Yesterday I put on a dress shirt (blue), but I was not wearing a white shirt today, my other choice (I plan to acquire more colors soon). I like long-sleeved heavy cloth shirts with a t-shirt underneath for cold weather. A habit from Michigan and living in the Mid-Atlantic area (Washington-Baltimore Corridor). Today it was just a t-shirt. I did do the laundry today between meetings and trips–I like to have the dishes and laundry done on Friday–it makes the weekend easier.

I boarded Air Volvo and headed, again, West to the CPA. The roads, in the morning, were sloppy at best. There still were sections of major roads covered in packed snow, slippery. Folks were driving poorly, going slow and bunching up like a body shop owner’s dream. I was passing and getting away from folks. I saw many yellow lights, then red light turns at intersections. Nobody wanted to brake once they got started in an intersection (good plan).

I managed to get to Hillsboro without incident, and the worst risk was the sidewalks–slipping here and there in my Air Force Ones. I picked up the taxes and headed back East. I stopped by McDonald’s, thinking of Bob Wild (Dad), and ordered two cheeseburgers (Dad’s fav). I then headed to the hummingbird house, having to cross Beaverton. The roads were sloppy, where salt or the sun reached the streets, but shady areas or less traveled areas were compacted snow still, and Air Volvo shuttered a few times, moving sideways a few inches on the ice. I had no issues and never felt worried.

I reached Susie’s place and had Susie moved to a wheelchair and the social activity room. There we went over the taxes and how they worked this year. Susie seemed to understand. The refund will cover her expenses for about three months (perfect). Susie, with my help, managed to sign the documents.

We called Susie’s mother, Leta, and chatted for a while. We talked about taxes and Susie’s care. Susie was in pain. Her ankle hurt. I checked it, removing her sock and shoe, and she seemed OK–no skin issues. Jennifer, the nurse aide, checked it and thought the pain may be related to the stretching they did in the morning. I called back after 5PM, and Susie was OK–no pain. At the time, it was a worry. I did not get a picture as I was distracted by Susie’s pain.

I said my goodbyes, got a kiss, and headed back onto the melting, snow-covered roads. The afternoon sun was sunny here with a beautiful view of the coastal mountains and Mount Hood, and the higher temperatures cleared the streets (there are no plows in Beaverton, I understand). I stopped by the post office and mailed some bills. Next, I returned to Hillsboro and the CPA office. I brought the signed documents, and now they can transmit the results to the tax agencies–excellent.

As I was in Hillsboro, I stopped by the only open gaming store in the area, saw the owner who remembered me, and purchased a gift for Z’s 12th birthday. For such a small store, the stock in the place is always impressive. They have increased their paints for sale (I resisted) and got some advice on speed paints from Army Painter (use a protective coat if doing multiple coats of speed paints). Good to know.

I returned to the Volvo Cave with the main roads now primarily sloppy. 209th and our street, Clarion, are still a snow-covered adventure.

Once home, I returned to online work. I checked my phone and replied to any issues between driving trips (no texting and driving on snow-covered roads–it is also illegal). I did the 4:30 status meeting and then chatted with my team online. No issues. I will be watching online for the status meetings on Saturday.

After a short rest, I wrapped Z’s gift and headed to BJ’s Brewhouse. Mo was on today, and I managed to get a porkchop–there were only five left when I ordered. Mo ensured I was happy with dinner, and I was, and brought me coffee afterward.

I wrote the blog while drinking coffee and sipping almond liquor.

Thanks for reading.



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