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Saturday, March 29, 2014


It did rain on and off most of the week which is really nice for California. There also was a brief break in the weather that somehow the gardener could squeeze into and take advantage of enough to do the lawn . . .

We pretty much took advantage of the pleasant raininess to stay inside and work on more pleasant things -- NOT . . . like taxes. For two "retired" tax-pros it was amazing the struggle that ensued to do this one (Federal & State) return. Gathering the data was frustrating and then . . . more later.

On one of our brief trips outside of the house we found ourselves at a small complex of multi-use commercial offices in Santa Rosa to visit a new Doctor.  Since Dino was along for the ride, I walked him around the parking lot to use up some of the waiting time. At the opposite end of the complex I happened to notice a familiar car -- one that belonged to my brother and his wife.

What were the odds that I would see someone we knew at that small office complex. And yet here was my brother and his wife visiting another office and I happened to spot their car -- and while waiting for him to come back to his car I spotted someone that my wife and I used to work with coming out of another office.
You just never know whom you'll see out and about . . .

There's Something About Living in a Small Town

And especially one that winds up being recognized nationally as "nice" and one that folks should put on their "must visit" list . . .

In the "just out" issue of Smithsonian Magazine their list of "best small towns to visit in 2014" is featured. And while Healdsburg is not number one (Chautauqua NY is) it is Number Two on the list -- and we all know that Number Two's try harder . . .

We are happy to say that we have lived here in town for almost 15 years now -- and we have enjoyed it very much and always are thankful for the decision to move here from "the city".

While we do live close enough to walk to the plaza, these days we look for a parking space and sit by the fountain almost every week. There is almost always a large number of folks wandering around town and it is not hard to pick out the visitors. And Dino does a really good job of attracting conversations . . .

Dates Next Week for Folks from our Tree

Only two more days for March of this year -- is it going out "lamb-like" or "lion-like"? Hard to tell and it depends on geography. But next week's birth dates are numerous,  some of whom you'll recognize and still we are not seeing huge wedding anniversaries 

So get out your "Hallmarks" . . .

Communications -- Today & Yesterday

The communication industry is where I found myself employed during the last twenty years of my career. I actually enjoyed much of that experience -- especially the days when my office was in downtown Seattle and my customer base included many of the (Media Recreation) top companies like all the TV Stations, Radio Stations, Sports Teams and Newspapers to name a few . . .

The communications industry (these days) is centered around the cell phone and is in evidence everyday everywhere we go. It is virtually impossible to NOT see people on their phones. We try not to give out our cell numbers because we do not want to use them for casual conversation -- only urgent type calls.

In the above left photos are examples of mostly now gone examples of unsightly phone wires seen everywhere in cities across the U.S. and the world. Only to be replaced these days by "hands to the ears" cupping cell phones and usually oblivious to all surroundings.

It is truly amazing how Alexander Bell (and others) have changed the appearance and experience of our daily lives. We are lucky enough to have "underground" utilities throughout our neighborhood, but we do have a lot of folks walking by every day and some (not all) are on their phones . . .

It's "That" Time

In the last 10 years for me -- but 30 some for Gail, this time of the year was spent in a furious frenzy of preparing and taking care of tax related issues -- for others. Now it is just a furious frenzy of a time trying to gather up the documents relating to just our own tax related issues . . .

This is the time to do our taxes so that we can make corrections and have a bit of time to reflect on them before the deadline. I think we for some reason can appreciate what others go through at this time more than we have in past years.

I assume that when we were "in the business" personal taxes were just "taken care of" matter-of-factly but now we must have erased "our hard-drives" and have started over as the process took its toll on us this week. 

We are though DONE -- we hope. The Feds have our 1040 and other related stuff and hopefully we will not hear from them. The State return is making the way through the system and only time will tell.

What's on the Dinner Menu?

To reward ourselves and to give us "comfort" we looked for some food item to assist. What better comfort-food than short ribs. We only have them once-in-awhile but usually when we do we are sooo glad.

And this was the case this week as well. We had a frozen package of short ribs and after a day of thawing we prepared them:

In the above you can see the process for the prep. We used the recipe that came with our "Ninja Cooker" and it turned out to be a good choice.

It was one of the tastiest dishes that we have had (for short ribs) and along with the twice-baked potatoes and the fresh vegetables -- dinner WAS a reward for getting through the tax process.

Webinars Coming Up

While we did not have a webinar this week (rare) next week the schedule resumes with a really interesting topic and a great speaker:

And the following week -- another excellent offering.

You still have time to sign up for these free webinars by going to the Family Tree Webinar site and registering:    Family Tree Webinars

And Lastly

I have finished the huge task of dealing with several thousand screenshots. I have put them into semi-appropriate files (in Picasa) and now begins the task of refining them. As I look some of them over -- for example the file of "may be related" I have found a ton of interesting facts and some not-so interesting facts.

This task will be time consuming as a lot of the "not related" folks have some interesting facts that I try to attach to them even though (at this time) I can't prove any relationship . . . if that makes sense.

The following is appropriate for the above exercise:

This is typical of some of the things that I have found . . .

And that was "our week" !   It is Saturday Night -- time for burgers . . . 

See you all in a few!

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