Saturday, January 18, 2014

Day 1495

Every year about this time, I get a letter from my accountant telling me that it's time to start gathering my tax records together. The letters go out early, because he knows that it takes people a long time to locate everything. I don't mind the idea of paying taxes. It makes perfect sense that we all pay for the roads we use and air traffic controllers and the research it takes to look for a cure for cancer. What irks me about paying taxes is that most of the money I hand over to the government every year is just wasted. The money that isn't wasted most likely goes to fund programs that I don't even believe in. I wonder what would happen if we all paid the same amount of income tax, but got to decide where it would go. I wouldn't mind funding programs I believe in. If we all got to do that, I have a feeling that the country would look a lot different.

Most of my opinions about the world are formed by what I see in my own little neighborhood. Lately, I've started seeing a whole lot of government waste. Somebody has decided that the park needs new signs. Most of the important areas in the park already have identifying signage, but apparently, they need brand new signs. I've started seeing a huge number of elaborate stonework and welded metal signs going up. Each of these small monuments to government waste often take a crew of six to ten stone masons and craftsmen up to three weeks to complete. The new signs are usually placed right next to the old simple wood signs that were there all along. I have an idea what happened here. At some point in the past, a bond issue was passed to improve the park. A small percentage of the total, maybe 2%, was designated for signage. Since the original bond issue was for tens of millions of dollars, the total amount designated for signage was probably quite large. Somebody was hired to administer the signage budget, and rather than admit they didn't actually need all that money, they decided to embark on the world's most elaborate park signage program and spend every cent. That's just the way government works. No bureaucrat will ever admit that someone gave them too much money to spent.

Our January weather certainly is weird this year. Another cold front blew through last night and we woke up to near freezing temperatures. Once the sun came out, the temperature rose rapidly and by the time I took the dogs on their evening walk, it was almost seventy degrees. That's quite a swing in a single day. I started the day wearing my goose-down winter coat and ended it wearing a t-shirt.

I've been asked to print a large poster for a February adoption event and am somewhat chagrined to realize that I've forgotten how to make these large posters. I used to do this all the time and was quite good at it. Jeez, this is exactly what I've been trying to keep the large printer unclogged for. I can't believe I've forgotten how to use the large printer. My memory is a sieve. You know what they say: use it or lose it. It won't take me long to get up to speed again, since everything I need to know is already on Wikipedia, but this is a bit embarrassing.

Dovey is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day