Saturday, April 20, 2019

Born A Crime

I just finished "Born A Crime" by Trevor Noah. Recommended!
It's the story of his mixed-race childhood in South Africa, mostly hilarious but also horrifying. Much of the humor comes from his perception of normality in what we would consider a highly abnormal situation, and his adaption to it.

It's Give Yourself An Award Day!

Expo 86 Cookbook

This was my mom's. I found it while cleaning out a box of stuff, and will pass it on to a sister.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

Bob Dickerson's Tulips

These are Bob Dickerson's tulips.

Every year I would ask Bob to serve on the Election Committee of the WSBA World Peace Through Law Section, and every year he said yes. He was a busy guy but he always made time.
Until he didn't.
In the spring of 2015, Bob said that he would be dead in three months, and therefore unable to help me this time.
What do you say to that? I had no idea.
Bob laughed. It's ok, he said. Over ten years ago I was given a terminal diagnosis, so I'm ok. He said, it made me realize that I didn’t want to fall over dead at my desk. I wanted to live life fully.
Bob had been volunteering with an organization called RESULTS that was dedicated to reducing the number of deaths from preventable childhood disease. Freed by impending death, he quit his job and devoted his considerable negotiation and litigation skills to this cause.
I asked if he'd like to share his story to an audience, to pass on his philosophy and what he had learned.
He agreed, I found a friend of his to interview him, and the program was a hit.
Ever notice how interview sets often have something like a plant for an alternative visual focus? Bob's a big UW fan so we got the purple and gold tulips you see here.
After the show, Bob left me the tulips for my garden. Every year they remind me to live life fully.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Did You Really Think You Would Do Your Taxes On A Postcard?

One of the sillier claims of the Trump Cultists is that the Trump Tax bill simplified taxes so that you could do your taxes on a postcard.

  1. Why are you filing on paper ? It's the year 2019 for gosh sakes: Use software. If you're earning under $66,000 a year there's free software at It's faster too: if you e-file, you get your refund in 3 weeks; if you paper file, it takes 6 weeks. And, tough love time: if you were stupid enough to think you could send in your taxes on a postcard, you should be using software anyway.
  2. The cultists claim that they reduced a 79-line form down to 23 lines, but that's wrong. They basically took the 1-page (14 line) 1040EZ form, folded it in half, and called it 1040. If you couldn't use a 1040EZ in 2017, you're unlikely to use the plain vanilla standalone1040 in 2018 - you're going to need supplemental "schedules".
  3. The smallest tax return you can file for Tax Year 2017 is the 1-page 1040EZ; the smallest tax return you can file for 2018 is a half-page 1040 printed front and back. Assuming those minimum forms meet your needs, you're not saving any time, ink or paper.
  4. BUT if you couldn't use the minimum forms (for example you have adjustments to your income), in 2017 you could just use a one page/2 sided 1040 form BUT in 2018 you have to print from 1 to 6 extra sheets (called "schedules"). That's right: you print more paper to provide about the same information and save nothing.
  5. The 2018 Form 1040 is not a postcard. You can't send it through the mail (even if you printed it on card stock) because there's no room on it for a stamp or a mailing address. Anyway, only a fool would file taxes on a postcard so that everyone could see their private information. At the very least, stick it in an envelope!