Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This Day is TAKS-ing, But Not Taxing

Thanks to April 15 being on a weekend, as well as some sort of obscure government holiday yesterday, income taxes aren't officially due until today. But am I sweating? Not at all; for one thing, it's way colder than normal for this time of year in Dallas. But also, my taxes were done by spring break, which has to be a personal record of some sort. Sure, back in the times when I would owe taxes (a.k.a. "The Days When I Was Bad at Math"), I would wait until around "the day of" to actually mail the return (so that I could keep my money for as long as possible before tossing it into the gaping maw of Uncle Sam), but I've just never been able to grasp the concept of waiting until the absolute last minute, driving a good 30-45 minutes to the 24-hour post office just west of downtown Dallas and all that. Never mind the fact that we're supposed to have really crappy weather tonight; I wouldn't want to make the trip anyway. I may be a procrastinator at time, but waiting till quarter to midnight is just too much for me.

But this was a Refund Year, so I was happy to approach tax day with nary a shrug. My accountant (who goes by "Dad" the rest of the year) brought me the finished product on their spring break visit, and I mailed it the following day. As we hit the halfway point of today, my refund has been sitting happily in the bank for over a week now.

Did you get your taxes done early this year? Respond in the comments.

And in Texas, tax week is also TAKS week, the dreaded state standardized tests in the public schools. I"ve ranted about them plenty of times before, so I won't belabor the point here, except to say that this week does get pretty expensive for me once all the missed lessons are taken into consideration. (For example, here's my usual Tuesday lesson total: 9 or 10, depending on whether or not it's an A or B day. Today's lesson total: Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing until I get to the college. You get the idea.) So while it's not by any means the important reason to get rid of the TAKS (that would be so that we get back to actually having the students learn something beyond how to take a standardized test), I'll shed no tears if the Legislature does indeed decide to drop it in favor of end-of-course exams. Keep your fingers crossed...

SEA LIONS! SEA LIONS!, part 1: A rogue elephant seal is causing trouble in the waters off California by messing with a kayaker, eating smaller seals and biting people and pets.

SEA LIONS! SEA LIONS!, part 2: Meanwhile, off Australia, a seal has also attacked a surfer.

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