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Old 04-01-2016, 03:10 PM   #701
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The major accomplishment today was walking half a block out and half a block back to the house, and then later walking out to the mailbox and back. Without taking Percocet in the previous six hours. So things are healing up, but much more slowly than I'd like.

At least the weather isn't all that great, intermittent showers, so it's not like I'd be outside doing anything anyway.
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:12 PM   #702
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The major accomplishment today was walking half a block out and half a block back to the house, and then later walking out to the mailbox and back. Without taking Percocet in the previous six hours. So things are healing up, but much more slowly than I'd like.
One step at a time there, Walt, literally.

I'm back in action after spending the week with my cousin (the priest) visiting. A whole week on my best behaviour has left me exhausted.
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:21 PM   #703
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I'm back in action after spending the week with my cousin (the priest) visiting. A whole week on my best behaviour has left me exhausted.
Wow. That sounds like torture. And I'll bet it was tough on you, too.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:22 PM   #704
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We just got back from picking up DDs car from the local mechanic, and I'm once again appreciating how valuable it is to have a mechanic that you know and can trust. We've used this guy for 25 years and we've always been happy.

Here's the story: DD lives in the city. She was here for Easter dinner and stayed for a couple of days afterward. She drives an old beater car that has been in our family for 15 years. It's perfect for her needs -- she normally uses public transportation or Uber, but for shopping runs or to come home to the suburbs it's nice to have a set of wheels.

On Monday, DH reminded her she probably needed an oil change and told us to just take it to Pep Boys, since Bill (our mechanic) would be booked up with inspections. So we dropped it off at PB for an oil change. An hour later, PB calls DD with "we've got some startling news, and some bad news". According to Pep Boys, there is a major oil leak at the top of the pan. Also, two error codes-- one for the O2 sensor and another for a cylinder misfire; we cannot fix the O2 sensor without fixing the misfire. Oh, and the shocks and struts are in really bad shape. And have you noticed that it is sluggish to start? There was some other stuff, too, but bottom line, to get the car even able to run would be ~$700, and all the work they know it needs would be $2800, and if we want them to check the battery they would do that for $29.99.

No thanks. We go pick it up and drop it at Bill's. He finally got a chance to look at it today: No major oil leak (maybe just a little one at the top of the pan). If it was low on oil, it's probably burning oil -- not unheard of for a 15-year old vehicle with >115,000 miles on it. The only error code is the O2 sensor, which is totally smashed. They cannot figure out how it got smashed, since it is hidden away in a protected spot. Shocks and struts will still pass inspection when it's due this autumn. The battery is getting low. Total bill to replace O2 sensor and do the oil change: $280.

Effing Pep Boys! If my DD had been on her own, she probably would've believed she needed to spend 10x that to make her car safe. In fact, when I texted that her car was fixed for $280, her reply was "What kind of voodoo did Bill do to get from a death trap needing $2800 worth of work, to "you're set to go" for $280?"

DH is at Costco buying her a new battery. effing Pep Boys.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:16 PM   #705
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Started the day with a VERY early delivery of a shed we ordered from Walmart. Big Semi truck, loud back up beeps as it backed into our driveway... all at 6am. My neighbors now hate us.

Since I was up - I headed out for a nice walk on the beach with the pooch. Stopped to feed my sister's cat on the way home (left the pooch in the car out of deference to the cat. LOL.) DH, both sons, and I spend a good part of the day properly leveling/preparing the shed site. Got it ready and started assembling around 3pm. Discovered at 3:45 that we are missing 2 roof panels. Rubbermaid (the manufacturer) is closed for the weekend - so no recourse there. Spent some time doing online chat with Walmart. They have offered to exchange it for free (and give some good will credit) - but I'm going to pursue getting just the 2 panels first. It's more work to do a full replacement... and we've got it 75% assembled - don't want to dissassemble, store, etc..

In between all these activities I've been prepping the house (company clean) since BIL arrives tonight.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:22 PM   #706
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We just got back from picking up DDs car from the local mechanic, and I'm once again appreciating how valuable it is to have a mechanic that you know and can trust. We've used this guy for 25 years and we've always been happy.

Here's the story: DD lives in the city. She was here for Easter dinner and stayed for a couple of days afterward. She drives an old beater car that has been in our family for 15 years. It's perfect for her needs -- she normally uses public transportation or Uber, but for shopping runs or to come home to the suburbs it's nice to have a set of wheels.

On Monday, DH reminded her she probably needed an oil change and told us to just take it to Pep Boys, since Bill (our mechanic) would be booked up with inspections. So we dropped it off at PB for an oil change. An hour later, PB calls DD with "we've got some startling news, and some bad news". According to Pep Boys, there is a major oil leak at the top of the pan. Also, two error codes-- one for the O2 sensor and another for a cylinder misfire; we cannot fix the O2 sensor without fixing the misfire. Oh, and the shocks and struts are in really bad shape. And have you noticed that it is sluggish to start? There was some other stuff, too, but bottom line, to get the car even able to run would be ~$700, and all the work they know it needs would be $2800, and if we want them to check the battery they would do that for $29.99.

No thanks. We go pick it up and drop it at Bill's. He finally got a chance to look at it today: No major oil leak (maybe just a little one at the top of the pan). If it was low on oil, it's probably burning oil -- not unheard of for a 15-year old vehicle with >115,000 miles on it. The only error code is the O2 sensor, which is totally smashed. They cannot figure out how it got smashed, since it is hidden away in a protected spot. Shocks and struts will still pass inspection when it's due this autumn. The battery is getting low. Total bill to replace O2 sensor and do the oil change: $280.

Effing Pep Boys! If my DD had been on her own, she probably would've believed she needed to spend 10x that to make her car safe. In fact, when I texted that her car was fixed for $280, her reply was "What kind of voodoo did Bill do to get from a death trap needing $2800 worth of work, to "you're set to go" for $280?"

DH is at Costco buying her a new battery. effing Pep Boys.
This is why it pays to have my own code reader. I do virtually all my own preventive maintenance and mechanical work. Only if I lack the tools or the ability (and you'd be amazed at the things you can learn to do from YouTube) will I take my car somewhere.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:34 PM   #707
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Effing Pep Boys! If my DD had been on her own, she probably would've believed she needed to spend 10x that to make her car safe. In fact, when I texted that her car was fixed for $280, her reply was "What kind of voodoo did Bill do to get from a death trap needing $2800 worth of work, to "you're set to go" for $280?"

DH is at Costco buying her a new battery. effing Pep Boys.
We've been taken in by places like this in the past. It is good you had a mechanic you can trust. We dropped our car repair and maintenance bills significantly now that we have more time to price shop and get second opinions.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:13 AM   #708
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4/1 was spent bailing my useless nephew out of jail on a domestic dispute. Not territory I'm familiar with, but now I know that a lot of it is just about money and boy are those jails scary cold places.

As to his issues(some ptsd and a huge 'I'm a victim' syndrome)... I don't see how people can put up with all of the drama that goes along with living on the fringes of society. He can't see that the grass is really greener on the other side and work to try to get over that fence, he seems ok with being on his side of the fence, living hand to mouth and he'll gladly take a hand out but slaps a hand 'up' out of the way. No, I haven't walked a mile in his shoes, but I did have a lot of empathy at one time.

No one is hurt... both he an not-so-D GF went to jail. She won't be getting out soon. Guess that counts for something.

How was your day?
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:27 PM   #709
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Pondering retirement on this my 2nd anniversary. Also scanning everything in sight in an effort to become paperless. Except for maps. Went outside to go running, but decided to run indoors given that we're having +50mph wind gusts.
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:08 PM   #710
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We usually go to the gym together on MWF but didn't get to the gym yesterday. For some reason I felt really bad about being such a slug, so this morning I got up early and went by myself.

It wasn't crowded and I did a nice, long weightlifting workout, followed by a little time on the seated elliptical. It's nice to not feel like a lazy slug any more. And now, I have a bounce in my step for the day.
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Old 04-02-2016, 02:58 PM   #711
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How was your day?
A lot better than yours but I guess that's not a very high bar to clear.

Still doing the post-operative shuffle but a little bit less each day so that part is going well. Hopefully in two or three weeks I'll be back at the gym. And here at first I thought it'd be about a week. So much for my plans!

And after the way DW has been looking after me she is going to get taken out to dinner many times later on, or whatever else it is that she wants.
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Digging it
Old 04-02-2016, 05:09 PM   #712
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Digging it

Today I dug up 6 feet of my decomposed granite garden path, and emptied one end of a raised bed, so I could cut off and remove an invading tree root that had lifted the path and raised one corner of a raised bed. All in all, I removed over ten feet of root, which ranged from 4" diameter down to about 1-1/2" in diameter, as well as a number of branch roots.
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:58 PM   #713
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Beautiful quilt PamInCA.

Walt..I'll glad to hear you're on the mend...

While DH is spending his time being the MC for local bands at the college today, I've been puttering around the house. I took a look at the visits I've made to doctors/medical facilities in the past eight months. I've been examined eighteen times. That's a record for me. Nothing serious, just painful. They know what I don't have, but can't agree what my problem might be. But, I seem to be getting better.

Onward I go....
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:30 AM   #714
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Beautiful quilt PamInCA.

Walt..I'll glad to hear you're on the mend...

While DH is spending his time being the MC for local bands at the college today, I've been puttering around the house. I took a look at the visits I've made to doctors/medical facilities in the past eight months. I've been examined eighteen times. That's a record for me. Nothing serious, just painful. They know what I don't have, but can't agree what my problem might be. But, I seem to be getting better.

Onward I go....
I think the one thing they all agree on is that you have...too much money. They would like to redistribute some of it.

Hope you continue to feel better.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:29 PM   #715
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We had our taxes done yesterday, so this morning I finished up making my Turbo Tax version agree with the tax accountant's version.

This year and last, I did our taxes in TT before going to the professional, just to see if I could get it correct. Last year I missed something big, and we would've underpaid our taxes by a couple thousand. oops. This year I did better, but still missed an AMT credit that was worth about 1K. It costs us about $500 to have the pro do our taxes, so she definitely earned her fee this year.

It's annoying that I cannot get this correct. I consider myself intelligent, and I'm good with numbers...but there always seems to be some nuance in the tax code that messes me up. In my defense, our return has a lot of moving parts: W2, 1099R, multiple 1099 misc for DH's self employment, the SE tax forms, all the investment accounts, a Schedule E for our rental, and a K1 from a different state from an LLC. I can do the Schedule C and Schedule E with no problem now, but the K1 is where I usually get tripped up. Turbo Tax doesn't ask the right questions, or ask them in a way that I can understand, to get the numbers in all the right places. Then PA doesn't like the OR K1, so there's some special handling required.

But we're done for TY 2015. Hooray!
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:56 PM   #716
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the K1 is where I usually get tripped up. Turbo Tax doesn't ask the right questions, or ask them in a way that I can understand, to get the numbers in all the right places.
I got so frustrated with this that I resolved a number of years ago to never again invest in anything that required dealing with a K-1 form. Have never had a problem with doing taxes since then.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:58 PM   #717
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I got so frustrated with this that I resolved a number of years ago to never again invest in anything that required dealing with a K-1 form. Have never had a problem with doing taxes since then.
For the last couple of years I've downloaded electronic versions of my K-1s. I have interests in four partnerships that provide K-1s this way. There is a single clearing house that they all seem to use but the way to access it is through the partnership website. In seems to eliminate most if not all of the questions. The K-1s come down as files and then it is a simple step to import them into TurboTax.
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Old 04-03-2016, 03:07 PM   #718
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Our accountant practices between 4 or 5 smallish MN cities, so I had to go in today at noon to get our return finished before the deadline.

The good news about filing on a Sunday is less then 30 minutes later, I got a notice saying my return has been accepted by the IRS....nobody scammed our SS numbers this year

It's 65 and sunny today so back outside to enjoy it while it lasts!
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Old 04-03-2016, 04:42 PM   #719
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I got so frustrated with this that I resolved a number of years ago to never again invest in anything that required dealing with a K-1 form. Have never had a problem with doing taxes since then.

In our case, it wasn't an active decision to invest in this. DH is from a large family and his parents were farmers with 1000+ acres. As part of their estate planning 20+ years ago, they formed the LLC and made their children partners. Two of the brothers run the farm, and this was one (the best?) way to keep the farm in the family. When the parents deceased, everyone's percentages increased.

It's not been a problem other than confusing me at tax time.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:26 PM   #720
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Sang a solo in church this morning. Took the young wife to lunch and then a shopping trip. Wrote a scholarship letter of recommendation for the young neighbor who has helped me with various and sundry lawn and house chores over the past several years.
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