They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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As 2011 Dwindles

Gray and Damp

At 12:30 the radio was saying we were having freezing rain turning to snow, accumulation about an inch, as part of a winter storm advisory until 1pm. Maybe for Grand Rapids, but halfway to Lake Michigan not only was there no rain, freezing or thawed, or snow, but for a brief moment full sun burst out of the overcast skies. One thing about living by a Great Lake, weather is wildly local.

Next snow possibility is New Year's Eve Eve, i.e. tomorrow evening -- we'll see.

Year End Bills

One of the last things I do each year is renew my professional memberships -- American Physical Society, American Chemical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers -- as well as renew subscriptions to The Chronicle of Higher Education and PC World, and donate to Northwestern and Michigan Tech. Doing most of these online has become relatively easy. I didn't even have to open the society statements.

Why wait to batch these all at the end of the year? Because I can write them on the same page in my check register so they'll be all together when I do my taxes. Yeah, have to think about taxes again. Plus I get to do Wendy's and will have to wade through the Georgia forms, too. Or at least the screens in TurboTax.

Time Sinks

Still taking time to make phone calls and otherwise deal with Wendy's finances. While online billpaying may be convenient when you're alive, I don't have access to her email statements, so have to wait for paper bills to get generated and forwarded. Oh the electric bill isn't a bill but a check for a buck-and-a-half refund on her final bill? Oh that's amusing. And unexpectedly different.

And the two days I spent coming aboard Dreamwidth as LiveJournal rolled over everyone with their misguided Release 88 rollout was time and expense that I hadn't planned for, dammit.

But "I'm not complaining."™

Really?

Haven't written about gas prices much this fall. Guess not having to buy gas every two days pushed it a bit off the radar -- and on long road trips you just pay whatever it is. Gas on Tuesday was $3.27.9/gal for regular -- today just two days later it was $3.48.9/gal. 21¢ in 48 hours? Okay, I suppose the jabbering about the Strait of Hormuz makes oil speculators nervous. But there was also a report that the U.S. is a net exporter of refined gasoline -- refineries are struggling against a drop in U.S. demand. So much for all the commuting done by all the jobs created by the rich people after years of the Bush tax cuts... (cynical grin)

Writing

Too early to close out the year or even the sabbatical, but travels and holidays are hell on the writing. But in the last two days I've shipped four stories. Saturday I hope to get a new story written for WOTF while watching Northwestern and other Big Ten teams play bowl games -- or punt and send an older story if I don't finish by 10-11pm. (calculating grin)

Holidays

It's Thursday? Huh. Every day seems like Saturday. Have to keep up with the day of the week, though, in order to not run out of 2011 for tax purposes or miss getting our last couple of weeks of garbage out to the road. At least I'm caught up with the newspapers.

Getting a certain amount of reading done. TV has been an inconsistent mess. And the news channels started in on the Year in Review stuff before Christmas and now it's all Iowa Caucuses All The Time.

How are your holiday leftovers?

Dr. Phil
Tags: gas prices, holidays, physics, sabbatical, taxes, weather, wendy, west michigan, writing
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