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— also known as my vanity gripe page

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Thu, 15 Apr 2004

Trampoline

After much cajoling and begging, my family persuaded me that we should invest in a trampoline.

Of course, despite having a whole acre, I couldn't find a flat spot on which to set it up. This meant that I needed to create such a place. Many hours of labor at the helm of the rototiller later, and after much scooping and raking of dirt, I (with the able assistance of my wife, children, and nephew), had established a relatively flat surface to site the trampoline on.

Setting up the trampoline and its safety enclosure then required an additional two hours work. Allegedly, this particular model of the Jumpking needs no tools to assemble. This is a ludicrous assessment, however, as a rubber mallet proved necessary to lock the ring into place. In any event, the kids have enjoyed daily workouts on the tramp ever since Saturday's assembly.

Pool

Sucker that I am, at the same time as I purchased the trampoline, we bought an above-ground pool as well.

Currently, the pool is in a state of semi-completedness, as the site in our fenced backyard proved to be not quite as level as we'd hoped. This is quite obvious with an inch or two of water on the bottom of the pool... one side is wet, while the other is dry. Thus, I'll need to move it and perform a bit more dirt relocation before it is ready for use. As it happens, the weather has been a bit too cool for swimming anyway, which means there isn't a big clamor from the kids to have it finished.

Disneyland

Over spring break, Jan and two of my three kids headed of to Southern California to experience the delights of Disneyland.

I didn't join them because I had to work; my oldest child didn't go because he had neglected to follow through on a commitment to complete some routine tasks beforehand, and then tried to convince us that he had met his obligations. Jan, Melody, and Thomas had a great time, along with two of my sisters, their kids, and the sister-in-law of one of my sisters with her kids. I got a souvenir, too: a plastic shopping bag from Disney's California Adventure.

Workbench

While the wife and kids were making preparations for their trip to Disneyland, I planned to clean out my detached garage to clear space for everyone to work on their individual projects

(Thus far, it has been dominated by computer and model projects.) However, my lumber storage sawhorses began collapsing as I worked, which required me to interrupt what I was doing to move the lumber before it was ruined. This distracted me into building a workbench. As you may imagine, the garage never did get cleaned... although it is more useable now, at least.

Landscaping

Since the deck project is now finished and I've been moving dirt around the yard for the trampoline and pool, I've also been filling in various holes and leveling out places to grow some native wild flowers and other plants. I'm hoping that Jan and I can actually successfully produce something pretty to look at this time around. In the last seven years we haven't been particularly green-thumbed.

Media Box

As mentioned previously, my media box project continues. I've obtained a few resources for circuit schematics, as well as all the necessary hardware except a controller and display. More on this project later.

Taxes

Finally, today is tax day. Although I electronically filed my Federal return a month ago, my State return was ineligible for electronic filing. As a result, I had to print it out, attach a copy of my Federal return and W2s, and mail it in. I finally got that done yesterday. Because I didn't wait until today, I didn't even need to stand in line at the Post Office.

On the flip side, I received a letter from the IRS claiming I owe more than $4000 from the 2002 tax year; it appears that we disagree on this; however, wait times when calling are more than two hours (tax season, dontcha know), so although I'm supposed to contact them to dispute their determination or arrange for payment (hah!) before the end of the month, I haven't yet taken care of this. Recognizing the power of the IRS, however, this is my current, highest personal priority. I'm thinking that tomorrow will be a good day to take care of it.

posted at: 19:30 |


Marc Elliot Hall St. Peters, Missouri 

Page created: 21 January 2002
Page modified: 14 November 2006

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