April 15th, 2004

bundled up, walkabout, snow

update and amusement

Tax Day.

Apparently one of our survival mechanisms in the last quarter of last year involved skimping on quarterlies. The good news is that we have enough to cover the difference for last year, as well as pay at least some for this quarter. Leaving enough in the account that Flar could recommend I write a check for the work I need to get done on my car next week.

I don't have enough bills-to-print posted in the checkbook register for it to go negative before it runs out of entries.

By May, we will be paying off at least one credit card account. Setting the tone for the rest of the year.

We have workers! (Turnip used to say it like it was a communicable disease -- their presence in the house does reduce our privacy, etc.) But damn! We have workers! And, they're scraping what's left of the old paint! Woot!

Live is good.

Lessee, me. One week of Rookettes left, then Fun-Day, at the bowling alley, and almost sure death to the league. Ready to say good-bye to it. Three years ago, we had 24 members; right now we have 12. My teams looks like a solid third place, but we're playing the second place team next week. In a fit of non-competitive mood, I'm hoping they have more than a 4 point lead on us, so the game will be meaningless fun.

Got the postcard invitations printed, cut, addressed and mailed for the chess club sleepover. That's a week from Friday. This weekend, I get to spend in Louisville with Sydb and Wolf. yay!

Got to spend the night with Wolf and Sydb Tuesday. Got to play summer camp. Crafts, followed by staying up too late. Came home mildly trashed from no sleep, and ended my day yesterday at

5:30 am this morning.

And I have *no* sleepiness here - nap did *not* happen on lunch break. Sigh. Catching up on reading was a good thing. Meeting the paint foreman - I'll call him Paint-Boss - was a good thing. Shooting the breeze with the AC repair guy (here for spring Preventative Maintenance) was a good thing. (I asked about cool weather AC use and got some useful info to pass along to Sydb when she reminds me.)

I came home from work by 9:30pm last night. Answered an email from Berry, then starting researching numbers in Quicken, for Flar. After I got all the numbers from last year, he wanted an up-to-date balance, to make sure we can pay taxes tonight. So I posted a few new receipts, checks (which I'd skipped doing last time I touched quicken), and then balanced the checkbook.

And I still had all the Rookettes stuff to do. Three weeks of scores to check for awards eligibility, one week of payments, the end-of-year papers to start churning out. One of them is the awards distribution. Because it was late at night, it took some time for me to catch the sign-reversal on the Sanctions fees, which made it appear that I should have $270 more in the account than I did...

Work is still ebbing. Details and I have been asked to stop scanning and there's not a whole lot filling up the indexing queues.

Which means I don't need to hurry off to work tonight. I'm in charge of mailing the check for our taxes (we're going to file online, so we only have to mail the checks, with the online-filing payment form) on my way to work.

And maybe I'll get to come home before midnight. I see one or two helping of Chai in my future tonight...

Oh, and lest I forget, mhaithaca led me to this very silly meta-blog.
bundled up, walkabout, snow

Bees

Sydb wrote about bumble bees around their garden, which shortened Roo's outside play time. Stupid annoying bees.

But that reminded me that I wanted to do some research.

I finally got around to looking up carpenter bees and bumble bees, because of what they told us in Gatlinburg. They are different, but look very similar. If the bee has a shiny black abdomen with no fuzzy yellow markings, it's a carpenter bee.

Turns out that they were sort of right about carpenter bees not stinging. The males don't have stingers, but are quite aggressive. The females have a painful defensive sting. What surprised me was the likelihood that males would be the ones encountered, flying about. So many hive species have females out and about that I'm used to assuming bees that I actually *see* are female. So if the Gatlinburg people were right, the bees menacing us when we arrived were quite probably stinger-free.

Bumble bees on the other hand, are described as having the normal stinging properties.

I'm confident that I would be able to tell the difference between the two now. Especially since both tend to do a lot of hovering. One of the other differences is that bumble bees nest in the ground and carpenter bees nest in wood (which is where they get the name -- they don't eat the wood, just nest in it).

I've also realized that I seem to have lost my old fear of bees. I used to be very fearful of them, and it was very hard for me to follow the "just be still and they won't hurt you" advice thrown at me. I was once stung by multiple yellow jackets when I brushed against their hive, which really isn't conducive to building bee courage.

But when we were "up against" bees in Gatlinburg, they didn't bother me. Yay. I have enough other fears to can still paralyse me, thank you very much. ;)