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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Five Things I Think, May 27th

It's been a little while since we've done any serious thinking together. For that matter, it's been a while since we've done any non-serious thinking, too. Let's knock the dust off the ol' thinkbox and forge ahead, shall we?

1) I think we had a great visit with my parents. Mom's down to 88 lbs again, and just finished an ICU stay for breathing issues. She's down, but not out. Little Danger managed to have her giggling by the end of the visit, something I hadn't heard in a while. He's powerful like that.

For his part, it was educational and awesome. Whereas his favorite part of the trip was seeing Grandma and Grandpa, a truly rare treat thanks to the distance and my mom's health, the location afforded him some awesome wildlife encounters too. Lots of zebra swallowtails, two bald eagles, a small herd of deer, even a wild turkey were spotted.

We stayed at Pere Marquette Lodge, which was also pretty darn cool if I do say so myself. And I just did.

Racist moment of the trip: running into a group of VERY stereotypical Japanese tourists on the trail at Pere Marquette park, gathered around a box turtle and snapping away with the cameras like it was Gamera. I cannot be held responsible for my reaction if you're going to perfectly embody the stereotype.

2) I think kids do really say the darnedest things. During the aforementioned visit, my dad dropped one of his expletive laden sentences, as he is wont to do. I am the son of a sailor, after all, and a riverman at that. My mom dug her elbow into his ribs, telling him to watch his language.

“It's OK, “ I said, “he knows those are adult words, and he has his own special word. His word is 'Fooey', and that's the one he gets to use.”

My parents nodded sagely. Little Danger walked in, and very seriously said “You know what else would be a good word? SEX.”

I facepalmed. Dad laughed. Mom immediately dug into me, “What are you teaching this child? What are you teaching my grandson?” I slowly turned a shade of candy apple red only previously seen on a '78 Corvette. Mom kept giving me the business, a mirthful yet malicious gleam in her eye.

Little Danger then interrupted her. “You know what else would be a good word? SEVEN.” We all paused for a moment, realizing that sex and six are, in fact, different words. The relief radiating from me was palpable, and Little Danger couldn't figure out why we are all laughing suddenly. Mom didn't even pause.

“Well don't YOU people have dirty minds,” she exclaimed. We laughed until tears came.

3) I think I inherited some of my dad's skill with big boats. The fam got a new houseboat, measuring at 86 and a half feet in length. Some people get condos, they got a big damn houseboat. Somebody had to bring it from the previous owner's slip and stick it into the 89 and a half foot slip into which it will be berthed. That someone got to be me.

There was some trepidation, but I am happy to report I slid that sucker in there with no injuries, no damage, no consternation on the first try. It's a tight fit, but it worked out. I couldn't help myself, and did allow one “Like a BOSS!” afterward. I'm looking forward to spending some time on board this summer to celebrate with 16 oz libations and general laziness, once we get her cleaned and washed and all the rest.

4) I think I'm a proud papa. Little Danger has experienced a heck of a couple of weeks. Allow me to gush for a moment, or perhaps longer.

He ran his first race, a 1 mile “fun run” at the Air Force Base, all on his own. The kid has a stride that devours 4 (granted, almost 5) his running step covers almost the same distance as his mom's. His first mile finish was in just over 10 ½ minutes.

He went with us to a festival, again with the drumming and living in a tent for 6 days. I am proud to report, with beaming pride, that he drummed with me, danced with the gang, made friends aplenty, helped an injured rabbit, jumped into a cold stream, threw rocks in said cold stream, and helped me tend the big fire by “woodchucking”.

He swam through a sea of awesome experiences, all the while managing to get every bit as dirty as a little boy should. He never once mentioned TV or video games.

I find nearly every thing I do more enjoyable sharing it with him. Nearly. He's still a Captain, after all.

5) I think I had a great festival myself. I was asked to put the red suspenders back on and do some firetending. Whereas I didn't work a whole lot of hours, I had a good time when I did. There's something about getting my hands into some big chimney logs and having fun burning things that just tickles me

My muscles are sore, and that's a combination of drum, dance, and log hauling that leaves my spirit happy. I also never fail to enjoy time out I nature, despite the presence of mosquitoes.  The incredible itching right foot is very upset about the presence of mosquitoes. 

That's the update this time around.  I have more thoughts, but those are for next time...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Up From the Ashes

It's been, as happens occasionally, a while since I've posted.  This hiatus was brought about for good reason, however.  I bought a business, and went through my first tax season on my own.

All in all, I'm pleased.  The learning curve was steep this time around, despite being involved in the tax industry for 17 years.  Nothing equals doing it yourself, it seems.

The final tally for the year was 612 clients served, a 1.8% error rate, and enough income to get all the bills paid for the year, which hasn't happened for us in a long time. I believe it's been 3 years since all the wolves at the door got satisfaction.  I'm not pleased with the error rate, though all of the issues were fixable, and fixed.  I want to get that down as close to zero as possible.

Tax prep is a crazy beast...10 weeks of fast, furious, long hours and then POOF.  Normal, or even shortened, work days.  I'm proud of what I accomplished this year, and looking forward to doing better next season.

It's time now to get into some thinking again, and some humor here.  It's time to clear a long, long list of to-do items, including cleaning a house that looks like it's been raided by a Mongolian Horde.  It's time to breathe a bit easier, now that we have feathers again instead of flames. 

For all of you who supported us, rooted for us, I offer a sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.  We're back. 
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