Monday, April 21, 2008

this is a test...

My internet access is all screwed up this morning. Some stuff...this blog, for example, comes up right away just as always. Other stuff...Yahoo, for instance just sits there and spins. The info line at the bottom will say something to the effect that the website was found, but nothing ever comes up. Then there are places like Ravelry, which will come up, but no graphics to speak of appear on the monitor, just the written content.

So, I'm just trying to see if this will post. Is anyone else having this problem? Anyone whose provider is Comcast? I've done all the virus scans and everything, and no problem there. So, I don't know what's going on, and I am very frustrated right now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The check is in the mail...

Just a friendly little reminder…if you haven’t filed your tax return yet, you’re almost late. As I write this, if you’re in the Eastern time zone, you’ve got 22 minutes left. Adjust accordingly for the other US time zones.

Mine was in the mail yesterday…yes, I procrastinated. And my mother’s was mailed this afternoon…yes, I procrastinated even more on hers. But she wouldn’t have had to file at all except that this year, there’s that rebate that Congress voted, and to receive that she had to file. Until I was preparing her form last night, by the way, I did not realize that people over 65 have a higher standard deduction than non-seniors. Go figure.

While I was doing all of this thinking about taxes, I started to wonder exactly when April 15 became Tax Day. It was in 1955, as it turns out. Taxes were originally due on March 1 (starting in 1913) and then the due date become March 15 in 1918. (Hat tip to Ask Yahoo for this bit of trivia.)

But, I’m sure you are all tired of thinking about taxes, so I did a little more research and found out a few things about April 15 in history.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, thus breaking the color barrier in major league baseball.

General Electric was formed (from Thomas Edison’s Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Electric Company) on April 15, 1892. Now, that event has probably generated its share of taxes down the years.

Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865.

Infamous outlaw Butch Cassidy was born on April 15, 1866, and much longer ago, Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452.

So, next time (probably next year), when someone says something about April 15 being Tax Day, you can tell them, “Actually, what it is, is Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday.” It’s much less depressing.

Oh, by the way…all of you on the East Coast…you now have 6 minutes to get those tax envelopes postmarked. But keep in mind, in a lot of places, my town included, the post offices have decided that since so many people e-file these days, they are only going to run the special tax-return mail collection until 8 p.m. instead of until the traditional midnight.

Wait…don’t throw things at me…I’m only the messenger.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Play Ball!...

It’s baseball season.

That’s why I have this big smile on my face. I’m sitting here watching a baseball game on TV even as I write this. Not so thrilled with the teams…it’s Boston and Toronto…I’d rather be watching my Dodgers, but at this point in the season, any game will do.

Now, to be sure, I haven’t followed the game that closely the past few years. I try, but I don’t live in a major league city anymore, and where I do live the predominant team is the Giants. We’ve got their triple-A team, the Grizzlies here, in fact. But because I was raised not just to be a baseball fan, but to be a Dodgers fan, it’s really difficult for me to get excited about anything Giants.

I think there is a radio station that carries the Dodger games here locally, but I haven’t been able to find it. If I could do that, I suspect I would follow the game more closely. It would be even better if I could get to a game once in awhile, but with a five-hour drive to Dodger Stadium (in good L.A. traffic), that isn’t a real option. When I lived 11 miles from Chavez Ravine, back in the days of the legendary Steve Garvey/Davey Lopes/Bill Russell/Ron Cey infield, I was able to see at least a few games a season. And I listened to pretty much all the games on the radio. Made it to a few Angels’ games a season (back when they were the California Angels, before all the name changes…but don’t get me started on how the Angels don’t even play in Los Angeles; they don’t’ even play in Los Angeles County…grrrr) back then, as well, since it wasn’t much further to Anaheim Stadium (or whatever they’re calling that these days) than it was to Dodger Stadium.

Actually, I even have vague memories of a Dodger game my parents took me to when I was about three years old and the team was still playing in the Coliseum before Dodger Stadium was built. I don’t really remember much about the game, but I do remember giving a hard time to the little kid who was sitting in front of us. I feel bad about that now, but I treasure the memory of having been at that game.

There are other sports I like…basketball and tennis (which has gotten awfully boring, I think)…but I will always be a baseball fan most of all.

Now, I’m going to watch the game.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

In which I attempt to become more domestic...

I used to have a keychain that read: “My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.”

And that’s pretty much the truth. Oh, I do the domestic things that I have to do, but I don’t take much joy in them. I don’t mind cooking, but I’m not very good at it. Baking is a little better, but I don’t do that much anymore because I don’t need to eat the stuff. Cleaning takes me forever (and probably never gets completely done) because I’m always getting sidetracked by more interesting things…usually something I find to read.

And I loathe grocery shopping. That’s probably because between the things that I can’t eat and the things my mother can’t eat, it’s difficult to find anything to buy. So, between that and little detail that my mother doesn’t really like my cooking (she says that’s not true, but I can tell…she always eats more in restaurants), we eat out a lot.

But…I’m making an attempt to become a little more domestic. I’ve taken up knitting. Again.

You see, I learned how to knit when I was a teenager. I played around a little bit with it at home, along with crochet and embroidery. I even took a needlecrafts class when I was a senior in high school. Knitted a pair of slippers (that didn’t fit, as I recall). But most of that went by the wayside as I got older. I went through a period when I did a lot of counted cross stitch, and I’ll still pick up a project once in awhile.

But I hadn’t knitted in years when my best friend told me about a class at the knitting shop where she spends a lot of time (Ancient Pathways, in Fresno, CA). It was an easy class, to learn to make a feather and fan scarf. That was last summer. I took the class, finished the scarf, started another one, and…let it sit for months.

Recently, however, I got to thinking that I should have kept at it. So I got the project out and started to work on it again. And promptly screwed it up. So, I pulled it all out and started it over. Or attempted to: I discovered that I had forgotten how to cast on. A visit to Ancient Pathways (where there is always a place at the knitting table to sit and work and chat) set that problem right, and I’m almost finished with that second scarf. I’m thinking about making an afghan based on the same pattern. And I’m signed up to take another class, this time to make a bag for my laptop.

I’m determined this time. I’m going to learn how to knit more than just scarves.