Tag Archives: paying property taxes

I paid taxes today

Today was the day I paid my taxes early. After doing the checks earlier this month, I got over giving away $2700 (almost) and took the checks to the Tax Offices and got the receipts. The receipts were the important part, so that I could prove I gave the check even if they forgot to deposit it. Now I get to keep my house for another year. I had my step-tracking apps turned on (both of them) which documented how long I spent waiting in line, and how far apart the tax offices are. Basically I walked over a mile, and stood in line about a half hour. Between walking between the offices and standing in line and shuffling forward I took 6156 steps.

Tomorrow I might commit myself to spending more money, as I contacted people about changing the tub in the bath connected to the master bedroom to a shower stall to fix the hole in the wall from where the shelf behind the tub basically collapsed, and also replace the leaking plumbing. Between the tub faucet and the sink we are leaking away over 1k gallons every month. It’s not a lot of money for the water, but our sewer bill is based on water usage during the winter. So between the water and the sewer bills, we are dumping a lot of money literally down the drain.

Other news, do you remember Arthur Dent? The space left on my neck after the useless lump of fat we called Chris Christy was removed we named Arthur Dent, and it was being a literal pain in the neck today. After I got done I was nauseous a touch because of the pain in my neck, so I had a little lay-down instead of dinner. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain in my neck (have I mentioned that Arthur is being a REAL pain in the neck today?) so I watched some idiot box (Mrs. the Poet prefers CBS) and had a little tea. I also had some dried cranberries, and cookies from Mrs. the Poet’s stash of Milanos. I really like the dried cranberries we bought, they are tangy and slightly sweet and are easy to chew.

Something I have been contemplating was the budget for the Sprint-T, should I use the stimulus $1.4k to buy a rear axle, or should I just continue to collect savings to apply to it? The axle I have been looking at the most was a quick change that was 60″ between the bolt surfaces, making it about 6″ narrower than the front axle’s hub-to-hub distance. This would be good because if I didn’t hit a cone with the front tire it was an automatic clear for the rear tire by about 3″ at any speed.

That wasn’t my plan when I bought the front axle, I chose that size because I was going to get a minivan as a donor vehicle, and the hub-to-hub on the minivan drivetrain was 66″ ± and I wanted front track to be pretty close to rear track so that I wouldn’t clear a cone with the front tire only to hit it with the rear. I could have tucked the rear wheels much closer to the engine and transaxle because not being used for steering they just had to clear in the straight ahead position, but that would have required major modifications to the stub axles that were vastly outside my abilities and tools at hand. So I just bought the axle for the width of the drivetrain, which shortly after the front axle arrived was no longer available.

But anywho, I still need to make a decision about the rear axle. The cheap thing to do would be a fabricated housing for Grand National style hubs and a Ford 9″ center section to go with the disc brake rear calipers I bought. The cool thing would be a quick-change rear with the V-8 style centersection and aluminum tubes for the Grand National hubs, which would be just as strong as the Ford 9″ but several pounds lighter and several hundred dollars more expensive. The other thing about the quick-change is what is inherent in the name, it is absurdly easy to change the final drive ratio with just a quick swap of the spur gears in the back of the housing. That means I could have a Powerglide transmission that is 50 pounds lighter than the 4l60E I would have been more or less forced to use to have decent gas mileage between races, without giving up the decent gas mileage. Or I could keep the 4l60 and use the quick-change to get the perfect ratio for racing and let the overdrive do its thing for gas mileage.

Well, it’s late and I have a busy day waiting tomorrow, so this seems to be a good stopping point.


Robert Burns was an optimist.

In case that went over your head he was the one who wrote the comment about making plans whether you were a mouse or human. Depending on which transcription you have the last phrase reads either “gang aft agley” or “oft gang agley”. Well today’s plans went very “agley” because after being awake for nearly 20 hours and spending several hours on various “devices” my neck decided that I wasn’t going to be taking any walks. And paying taxes required a long walk of about a mile, more or less. So connecting the dots, working the Venn diagram, whatever you want to call it, I was not able to pay taxes. And I didn’t get to bed until about 1400, which was shortly before I got up yesterday. Now tomorrow will be fun as I spend another 20 or so hours awake to reset my sleep cycle to something resembling diurnal. After I get back from grocery shopping.

Speaking of shopping one thing I still need to get is butane for the plastic bending torch. That original sentence was “rod bending” but then I remembered some of my raw stock was only available as tubing in the size I needed, so “plastic bending” now. And I’m finding out stuff about what I need to use for the bending form. The SFI rule for certifying roll cage/bar bends is they need to have a minimum centerline radius of 3*D where D is the outside diameter of the tube used in the structure. That means I need to make my bending form 2((3*0.060)-0.030) in diameter for scale SFI-certifiable bends, or 0.3″ diameter which is almost exactly the OD of a 5/16″ fine-thread bolt over the threads. So my bender would have a 5/16″ bolt with washers permanently fixed just over 0.060″ apart held in some kind of fixture and the OD of the washers turned down to 0.420″ to allow for the bender follower to force the stock against the OD of the bending form. And I know that’s a lot of technical babble for a paragraph, much less for a single sentence, Gomen nasai and I really hope I spelled that right, it has been more than 20 years since I was in a Japanese class. In case I didn’t spell that right that is the Formal Apology (I don’t remember the informal form), because when you inflict your mistakes on strangers like I just did you must use the Formal form to apologize.

Moving on… the weather has done a Texas Weather thing, we are going from nearly 70°F this afternoon to just above freezing with rain and gale-force winds in the morning. 😡 and 🤒 At least both cats were smart enough to come in from the rain this time. 😼 The forecast for grocery shopping is less rainy, warmer, and less windy.

Today I go pay taxes

The forecast for the AM is great, PM starts to turn cold and possibly rainy by late afternoon. So the plan is stay up all night and go pay taxes in the morning. I am hopeful I can get this all done by noon and only have to buy an AM pass instead of having to buy both halves of a day pass (one AM and one PM pass are the same cost as a day pass). It’s supposed to be about 45°F (7°C) when I leave, rising to 60° (15.5°C) by the time my AM pass expires. Like I said I hope the lines are short enough to get through by noon so I don’t have to spend the money for a PM pass to make my costs the same as a day pass. And yes I’m “frugal” (AKA “cheap”). You can’t live on $10K/year without being frugal to the point of being “cheap”. Old family brag: We pinch a penny so hard Abe squeaks.

I don’t like paying taxes out of savings, but I like what happens if taxes aren’t paid even less. Now I’m not talking about civil or criminal penalties, I’m talking about what our property taxes buy, like streets and libraries, schools and police and most especially the fire department. Real life has shown that while these can be done by private industry, it costs less and is done better by people not out to make a profit out of it, because inevitably the money for the guys on top doubles or even triples the cost of the service compared to government-run services. Because let’s just admit it when we let “free enterprise” control essential services the guy that runs/owns the “service” is going to “service” himself financially first and foremost, maybe pay the workers half of what they would get from the government or less if he can get away with it, and spend as little on equipment as possible. I’m not making this up, this is what has actually happened in places where fire and ambulance service is provided by non-government providers.

So, after the sun comes up I’m going out to pay my taxes because I like what taxes buy.

Thinking about the Sprint-T

… to avoid thinking about depressing things. Like

For some reason that video has been making the rounds on some of the forums I frequent as characters in web comics struggle with depression. Well, one character in one comic is actually singing the song, but that doesn’t explain why the same video is spreading to other forums. Maybe there are lot of people depressed by the current administration.

I have been spending a lot of time waiting to fall asleep because my feet have been cold and uncomfortable. I have a warm quilt that makes my upper body very warm, but for some reason my knees on down stays cold. This keeps me awake, and when I can’t sleep, I think. My favorite subject to think about is the bucket, and last night I was thinking about the Sprint-T. Specifically thinking about making the frame lighter and stiffer. Lighter by only making the rear hoop and diagonals out of the 0.120″ wall tubing, and everything else out of the 0.060″ wall. Stiffer by using the diagonal brace to carry the front mount for the radius rod that carries the weight of the back half of the car and triangulating the crap outta that mount in as many directions as possible. Comparing the weight of the floppy, bendy, noodly Speedway kit ladder frame (roughly 75 pounds) to the raised rail Sprint-T frame (80 pounds) that is almost completely rigid, well that’s not much weight to get stiff.

I was also thinking about using the brake reaction torque of the front axle to produce anti-dive the same way a torque arm makes anti-squat at the rear axle. The bad thing about this is it changes caster as the axle travels. That means the directional stability of the car changes and the steering feel changes, depending on how hard the brakes are grabbing. Thing is, for the normal radius rod front suspension for this type of car, this is normal driving behavior.

And 1/31 is my annual walking tour of the local tax offices, meaning I spent entirely too much time on my feet standing in line with the other last-minute taxpayers between walking to the offices. I couldn’t do this by bus because the offices are all too far from the bus stops, and the bus does not run frequently enough. I can walk to the bus stop I need to get off at before the next bus gets there. So I’m tired as heck tonight while I’m composing this post, not sleepy, but physically tired. My back hurts and my leg hurts, the one that got all the damage in the wreck.

Not watching State of the Uniom Tuesday

“State of the Uniom” was just too good to pass up. It just encapsulates the current administration perfectly. I mean it’s a simple typo, easy to make and easy to catch with spell-check. I mean I have that ugly red squiggle staring me in the face right now because I used the meme in the first line. Are the GOP so afraid of technology that they don’t have spell check turned on for their computers? Or did they somehow manage to get the tickets printed without using any computers?

I’m going to do my civic duty and pay my taxes in person tomorrow taking the bus downtown and then walking between the various offices because they are almost all on the same two streets. I’m going to make a detour to the phone store and pay my bill while I’m out, and maybe drop by the hardware/home store that’s on the gift card I got as pay on Monday and pick up some LED lights to replace the burned-out CFL lights in the kitchen, some of which are left over from Obama’s first term. We’re down to one working bulb in the kitchen over by the pantry, which makes cooking dinner a dark art, literally.

Still haven’t heard anything from any of the junkyards nearby about some kind of powertrain for either the Sprint-T or the TGS2. This is not unexpected as there have not been any winter storms that have created treacherous driving conditions yet. If we get an ice storm then totalled-out cars will be stacking up like cordwood, and I will have a choice of cheap to free engine/transmission combinations. Until then I have to wait. Impatiently, but I will wait.