Sunday, April 22, 2001

Taxes, Farscape and Iron Chef

This entry is about Friday so that’s a good thing all by itself. I’m mainly working on the plan for the next fiscal year while trying to keep up with the demands for this fiscal year. It’s a weird mix of research, memos, brainstorming, programming, meetings and troubleshooting. I’ll be pretty happy when we’re overworking more than one person in web services. As it stands now I’m the only person in my department. That’s all fine and dandy as long as no one wants too much. But the web is like a tidal wave. And I’m a surfer lookin’ at a 200 foot swell.

My mom works over in the main hospital in the NICU. I took my lunch over to her unit and we ate together. It also let me get some papers signed to take over to the county assessors office. It seems that they’ve dramatically overvalued the house that we are renting from her and we have to go through all the red tape you can eat to get the valuation (and consequently the taxes) lowered to a reasonable amount. We’ve already gone through the initial contest of valuation. The result of that was so lame that that we had to file an appeal. They’ll mail us an appearance date and we’ll present evidence of the need for reduced valuation. It’s all pretty boring. But if it works it could save us hundreds of dollars in taxes over the next several years. If it doesn’t it’ll still cost us a couple of hundred dollars to try. What a gamble. I think the main thing that pushes us forward is that we find it galling to have the house so over valued in a neighborhood that’s declining. That’s right, I don’t live in a very good neighborhood. It has it’s advantages but being in a good neighborhood isn’t one of them. So after lunch I drove the paperwork downtown and went back to my scattered work environment.

After work I went home and waited. And waited. And waited. Tamara was at softball practice until 6 but it was almost 7 before she called. Duncan had been invited to a birthday party down the street from my Mother-in-law’s house that would feed him dinner and not be over until 8. We went to Cap’n Dees and ate some greasy fish with fries.

There was a new Farscape on tonight (it’s a bummer but next week will be a rerun). Tonight’s episode was kind of weird and involved the killing of several major characters that also ended up still being alive. There was a madman running amok on a wounded Leviathan, Crase nearly dead and his ship Talon fairly well damaged, and most of the cast running around not knowing what’s going on until fairly late in the episode. As usual they’ve given Criton quite a few good lines with lots of earthisms thrown in for color. I’m not going to give a complete synopsis of the episode, there are enough web sites where you can get that, but I will say that this is one of the few TV shows that I watch (Survivor and the Robot shows are some others I don’t like to miss).

And of course I would be totally remiss if I didn’t recount the secret ingredient in tonight’s episode of IRON CHEF. It was abalone (clams). And like most Iron Chef shows they were big and they were alive and squirming. The challenger, a Japanese chef who was considered a master of the seaweed broth, beat the Iron Chef Japanese. Too often the challenger will use the main ingredient but won’t design dishes that showcase it. The Iron Chefs have an advantage here because they know what the judges are looking for. This week the challenger did a good job making all sorts of abalone dishes I just don’t know if I could eat. So far the battle that’s made me the hungriest was the Pork Battle. I’m pretty sure it was Iron Chef Chinese fighting a Chinese food chef challenger. It was pretty good but I can’t remember who won. As for the abalone battle I just will never forget grated abalone – it looked like a big wad of lumpy pus. Now wasn’t that a pleasant thought to leave you on.

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