Always tweaking something!

The Ides of April?

Day 3523

The government made me do it, I swear!  Figuring I owed on my taxes this year, I postponed the inevitable until the last possible weekend.   I didn’t think we’d even have enough deductions to itemize them this year.  College loans are paid off and  it’s been years since we could claim the kids as dependents.  Heck – those same kids are working on dependents of their own now.

We (the spousal unit & I) claim zero exemptions on both federal and state taxes and it seems that’s never quite enough to keep the scale balanced.  Last year I made a sizable contribution to an IRA since I wasn’t eligible to start on a 401k yet.  That actually helped quite a bit at the time.   This year, even with the 401k started, when the dust finally settled we were deep in the hole.  Comfortably into the 4 figure range with the Feds and we’d have to toss another couple of hundred to the state.

What’s a guy to do?  Seeing as I was using my banks on line tax software, I played with some numbers.  (No – not a mysterious large donation to some charity)  I wasn’t maxed out on my 401k contributions (quite), so I looked at the IRA options again.  Using the tax software I was able to compare the effects of various contributions to my IRA account.  Finally settled on a number that reduced my federal taxes owed to a much more modest amount and even got me a return from the state.  Net effect?  I’m out about $100 to the various governments in tax payments and I’ve padded my retirement nest egg by LOTS of rounds of golf for my future self.  In essence, the government used my distaste for sending them money to force me to make investments for my retirement.  My new motto?  10 more years!!  That’s when I get to use all this money I’m putting away.

On a separate note – it’s been interesting reading blog entries about recent weather.  Sitting here on the east (Right!) coast, it’s sort of a weather forecast for us.  So all that nasty shit we saw happening in the Rockies and then in the Midwest has arrived here.  Yesterday we peaked at something like 82 degrees – 3 degrees short of the record for the day.  That followed an 80+ degree Sunday too.  So yeah – 82 yesterday afternoon sometime, obviously WELL before 5pm because when I crawled out of the cave here and got back above ground to go home it was already down to 59.  This morning on the drive in it was 37 and the temps aren’t going to stop until they bottom out at around 18 later tonight.  As part of that transition, we get this:

Ides of April

Yes, I’m under that upside down raindrop thingy, which is appropriate as it’s raining here now.  The pink that’s juuuusssst to the west of me?  Ice & freezing rain.  Lunch time ought to be fun.  And of course, the blue behind it is the inevitable snow.  After this latest finger of the bi-polar vortex slides by, we’ll return to more seasonal temps by Thursday.  Maybe.  I hope.  Trying to make plans to golf in Syracuse this weekend, even temps in the 50’s would be tolerable.

The cat would like some warm weather too.  Our back porch is sort of a roofed, screened in deck.  Nice sized.  If you count screen, it’s completely enclosed.  Well, Diesel (the cat) got out there over the weekend.  Good lord, he loves it out there.   If we leave the slider open we may never see him in the house again except for trips to the litter box.  When he’s not on the porch, he’s really enjoying sitting in front of an open window keeping an eye on the bird feeder (Cat TV)  got to make sure all the birds are sharing the food nicely.  He’s bumped his head into the glass several times thinking he’s going to pounce on a bird.  Hope the screens are stout enough to keep him in.

Guess all my docs have uploaded.  Better get back to cranking out reports.

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