STARTING SLOW IS STILL A START

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Yesterday got off to a slow start. Actually, I posted my blog for the day shortly after midnight before I went to bed. Consequently, there was no need to set my alarm. I wasn’t headed to the office. Denver was calling my name. I was heading toward the ski slopes later in the day. Actually, as it turned out, it was much later in the day. What was I thinking? My flight wasn’t scheduled to leave Austin until 5:00 p.m. Fortunately, I was scheduled to arrive in Denver at 6:25 p.m.

I was actually hopeful that I would sleep-in yesterday morning. Isn’t it normal for folks to want to linger in bed? I’ve never had the luxury or at least I don’t remember having the luxury. When you live on the edge of heaven and work in…some other location, it generally takes an early start. Besides that, who without some kind of cognitive impairment would ever opt to select the snooze button? Is there anything more irritating that the sound of an alarm clock?

I felt a little guilty for taking a full day of vacation yesterday after I realized I had an afternoon flight, but I really needed the time. In addition, one of the General’s subtly spoken hopes (I almost said “mandates”) is that I’d get our taxes done before I left to go skiing. In case you haven’t picked up on it, the General and I have a strange arrangement. She manages the checkbook and I calculate the taxes.

I wouldn’t have a clue of how to manage the checkbook. Without a deadline to reconcile the bank statement, one month would roll into the next month followed by the next and soon I’d be in over my head. The General, on the other hand, adds a whole new concept to efficiency and she always balances the checkbook down to the penny. And of course, the General would never put off until tomorrow what she could do today.

When it comes to taxes, I work under the pressure of having a deadline. In case you’re wondering, I can give you a pretty good idea of how I generally spend April 14th of each year. Every year I think I’ll get the taxes done early and every year I don’t. Under the auspices of “Hello Houston We’ve Got A Problem”, I am scheduled to be in Arkansas just shy of the middle of April. In addition, I’m scheduled for Houston most of next week.

On my way home from work Tuesday, I remembered the General had previously expressed her hope that I’d get the taxes done (an expressed hope is always a subtle expectation) before I went skiing. Consequently, I stopped to pick up Turbo Tax. I quickly scanned the features of both the deluxe version and the premium version. Neither had the form I needed for my very small home business of marketing books. I choked when I saw the price of the “Home and Business” version. It was almost twice the price of the premium version.

Okay, so I am overstating the case. The H&B version was only $97.00, but all I needed was one lousy form beyond what was available in the premium version. Last year I bought the deluxe version and found that I needed something that only came in the premium. Consequently, I had to modify the program online. The experience was almost the catalyst for me telling the General it was her turn to do the taxes.

My recognition of the need for the “update” became apparent a day or two before the taxes were due. Getting it downloaded literally took hours. I was sweating bullets. I don’t know who would have been more perturbed, Uncle Sam or the General, if I had been late. As a rule of thumb, I don’t want either of them to be on my case.

Yesterday morning, I couldn’t get the CD disk of the new Turbo Tax to download on my computer. In case you’re wondering, the old adage of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again is futile when it comes to computers. Trust me, I got “ERROR MESSAGE #36 four or five consecutive times before I connected the dots and stopped trying.  Mostly out of curiosity, I decided to see if Turbo Tax would download on my new Mac Book Pro. It worked like a charm.

Despite the fact that the Turbo Tax program was now on my new computer, it was still a very slow start on the day. Historically, I’ve always allowed Turbo Tax to import identifying data entered on the previous year’s taxes onto my new tax document. Guess what? I didn’t have any previous tax information on my new computer. I had to enter all of the data myself. Consequently, I didn’t get the tax return finished, but I am well on my way.

Speaking of a slow start yesterday, someone summoning for an ambulance probably determined the ambulance crew’s response time yesterday was also off to a very slow start. The General and I went to Dripping Springs for lunch. Just on the outskirts of Henly, we noticed that an ambulance turned on to Martin Road, went a very short distance, stopped, turned around and headed back in the direction of Hwy 290. By this time, we were now in front of the ambulance, but the ambulance was backtracking toward Dripping Springs. They obviously were not out for a joy ride. The flashing lights on the ambulance were fully engaged. I had the thought, “Did they go past the correct turn?” At some level, that had to be beyond a little awkward. I can only imagine what the person needing the ambulance was thinking. If you need an ambulance, a slow start doesn’t make a very good impression.

At some point, as the ambulance got near, I pulled over to the right as the ambulance went around me. I was now following the ambulance. The ambulance didn’t turn off of Hwy. 290 until they got to Bell Springs Road. How many miles is that? I’d guess at least four or five, but I don’t know for sure. Multiple that times two and you’ve got an eight-to-ten mile delay in responding to a medical emergency. Hopefully, they arrived in time, but the thought added a whole new concept to the thought of a “slow start.”

I subsequently made it to the airport two hours early. My morning blog is being sent to you from the “Mile High City”.

All My Best!

Don

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